Does religion affect alcohol and tobacco use among students at North-West University, South Africa?

  • Acheampong Yaw Amoateng North West University
  • Boitumelo Marilyn Patience Setlalentoa North West University
  • Christopher Udomboso University of Ibadan
Keywords: Religion, Religiosity, Spirituality, Belief in God, Youth Behaviours.


The present study used multidimensional measures of religion to assess religion’s influence in engendering positive behaviours as measured by alcohol and tobacco use among a sample of undergraduate students at the North-West University in South Africa. Multinomial logistic regression model was used to examine the effect of religion on youth alcohol and tobacco use. Zero-order correlations showed that measures of religion not only correlated positively with each other, but they correlated negatively with both current use of alcohol and tobacco. Religious affiliation was insignificant, but self-rated religiosity was positively associated with drinking among females who reported that they always drink alcohol, frequency of church attendance increased the odds of drinking among females who reported that they never drink compared to those who reported that they drink occasionally. Social class, as measured by father’s education was negatively associated with both alcohol and tobacco use. On the whole, religious commitment continues to act as the protective factor against these two anti-social behaviours of the youth.

Author Biographies

Acheampong Yaw Amoateng, North West University
School of Reasech and Post Graduate Studies15
Boitumelo Marilyn Patience Setlalentoa, North West University
School of Research and Post Graduate Studies
Christopher Udomboso, University of Ibadan
Department of Statistics