An Examination of the Relationship between Spirituality and Religion and Selected Risk-Taking Behaviors in College Underclassmen
Campbell, Hugh David
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Nearly one third of all Americans believe religion to be the most important part of their life. Nearly two thirds of Americans believe religion to be an important part of their life. The majority of Americans (94%) claim to have a belief in a supreme deity or God. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between spirituality and religion and selected risk taking behaviors in college underclassmen. Presently in the published literature, there are no studies that examined the relationship between levels of spirituality and religion and their interaction with select risk-taking behaviors, while delineating these variables to the college underclassmen. The risk-taking behaviors that were of interest to the researcher in this study were episodic and heavy drinking and sexual behaviors. This research effort employed a non-experimental, descriptive study design. The study population consisted of college underclassmen enrolled in an introductory wellness course in a teaching-intensive institution in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Results indicated a significant interaction between religion and all of the sexual risk behaviors under analysis. Results also indicated a significant interaction between spirituality and three of the four sexual risk behaviors under analysis. A significant interaction was found between frequency of church attendance and all of the sexual risk behaviors under analysis. Finally, when cross tabulated with all measures of spirituality and religion, risk behaviors related to alcohol usage reported statistically insignificant on all data indices.
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