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Monday, July 8, 2013

Benefit finding as a moderator of the relationship between spirituality/religiosity and drinking

This study evaluated benefit finding as a moderator of the relationship between spiritual and religious attitudes and drinking. Previous research indicates that undergraduates who drink heavily experience negative alcohol-related consequences. Literature also suggests that spirituality and religiosity (S/R) is protective against heavy drinking (e.g., Yonker, Schnabelrauch, & DeHaan, 2012) and that finding meaning, which is conceptually related to benefit finding, is negatively associated with alcohol use (e.g., Wells, 2010).

Seven hundred undergraduate students completed study materials including measures of drinking, benefit finding, and S/R. Based on previous research, we expected that S/R and benefit finding would be negatively associated with drinking. Furthermore, we expected that benefit finding would moderate the association between S/R and drinking, such that S/R would be more negatively associated with drinking among those higher in benefit finding.

Consistent with expectations, a negative association between S/R and drinking was present, and was stronger among those high in benefit finding.

These findings extend previous research by demonstrating that the protective effect of S/R on drinking appears to be particularly true among those who find benefit following stressful experiences.

This study extends previous research showing that S/R is negatively associated with drinking by evaluating benefit finding (measured via the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996) as a potential moderator of the relationship between S/R and drinking.

This study contributes to the alcohol literature seeking to understand and identify individual factors in drinking and determine how S/R and benefit finding relate to drinking.

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