Religiosity, Delinquency and Adolescent Drug Use

Gang Lee, University of Texas at El Paso
Kisun Yim, California State University - Fullerton

This paper examines the relevance of individual religiosity to the juvenile delinquency and drug use given the inconsistent and inconclusive evidence found in the literature. Using self-report data from a sample of 274 Korean-American adolescents attending Catholic Church in Southern California, we test whether the effects of religiosity on delinquency and drug use are spurious or indirect via social constraints. We control for measurement errors in estimating the structural effects of religiosity on delinquency and drug use by applying a latent variable model and a bivariate regression model utilizing LISREL. Results show that there is indirect relationship between religiosity and the overall delinquency through social constraints. However, individual religiosity has direct effects on adolescent drug use. Possible implications for adolescent religious commitment are considered.

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Updated 05/20/2006