Browsing Electronic Theses & Dissertations by Author "Mailey, Chaz D"
Racial Identity and Religiousness: Role of Religion and Racial Identity on Substance Use In African American College StudentsMailey, Chaz D (2011-09-20)The present study sought to explore the relationships between Black racial identity, religiosity, and substance use in African American college students. Religiosity has commonly been identified as a protective factor against substance use for many ethnic groups, and historically religion has played a significant role in the lives of African Americans. Surprisingly, some research suggests that while important, religiosity may not be as strong of a protective factor against abuse or excessive consumption of substances for African Americans as it is for other ethnicities (Amey, Albrect, & Miller, 1996). It has been suggested that for African Americans, a strong ethnic identity can help moderate drinking (Klonoff & Landrine, 1999; Pugh & Bry, 2007). One hundred and eighty-four African American students recruited from three Midwestern predominantly White universities, one Midwestern predominantly Black university and one Historically Black Southern university completed an online questionnaire consisting of the Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS); the Religious Involvement subscale from the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religion and Spirituality (BMMRS), measures of alcohol and marijuana use, and the Young Adult Alcohol Problems Screening Test (YAAPST). As hypothesized, racial identity and religiousness/spirituality were related with substance use in African American college students. The secondary hypothesis that black racial identity would be a better predictor of substance use than would religiousness/spirituality was not supported. For African American students in the current sample, religiosity was a better predictor of substance use than was Black racial identity. However, several differential relationships were observed between males and females. Overall, the study contributes support to the literature regarding how Black racial identity and religiosity influence substance use in African Americans. Limitations, significant findings, and possible directions for future research are presented.