Longitudinal Associations between Social Relationships and Alcohol Use from Adolescence into Young Adulthood: The Role of Religiousness

J Youth Adolesc. 2022 Sep;51(9):1798-1814. doi: 10.1007/s10964-022-01632-2. Epub 2022 May 21.


As adolescence is a time characterized by rapid changes in social relationships as well as an increase in risk-taking behaviors, this prospective longitudinal study examined whether social involvement and social alienation are associated with changes in alcohol use from adolescence into young adulthood moderated by organizational and personal religiousness. Participants were 167 adolescents (53% male) assessed five times between ages 14 and 18 years old. Latent change score modeling analyses indicated that social alienation was positively associated with greater increases in alcohol use among those with low organizational religiousness and those with low personal religiousness in early adolescence and during the transition into young adulthood. The findings demonstrate the detrimental effects of social relationship risk factors that promote alcohol use during adolescence into young adulthood. The results further highlight the protective roles of organizational and personal religiousness acting as additional sources of social engagement experiences to modulate the effects of social alienation predicting alcohol use progression and provide evidence for the positive impact religiousness has on healthy adolescent development.

Keywords: Alcohol use; Religiousness; Social alienation; Social involvement; Social relationships; Substance use.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult