Religious involvement and its association to risk behaviors among older youth in foster care

Lionel D. Scott, Michelle R. Munson, J. Curtis McMillen, Marcia T. Ollie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined religious involvement and its association to risk behaviors (sexual behavior, marijuana use, alcohol use, and cigarette use) among older youth in foster care (N=383). Three dimensions of religious involvement were assessed-church or religious service attendance, religious practices, and religious beliefs. Findings showed that gender, ethnic group membership, sexual abuse history, and placement type were significantly associated with older foster care youth's religious involvement. Hierarchical logistic regression analyses showed that religious service attendance was associated with reduced odds of youth's engagement in sexual behavior in the past 2 months and current use of cigarettes. In addition, greater religious beliefs were associated with a reduction in odds of youth's use of alcohol in the past 6 months and current use of cigarettes. The consideration of religious involvement as a positive influence and resource that may reduce unhealthy risk behaviors among older youth in foster care is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Volume38
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • Foster care
  • Older youth
  • Religious involvement
  • Risk behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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