The Influence of Moral Ideology on Religiosity, Moral Emotions, and Drinking Behaviors

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2020-04-09

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Abstract

Objective: The current study examined prospective relationships between religious affiliation, feelings of guilt and shame, ethical orientation (relativism and idealism), alcohol consumption and quantity of heavy episodic drinking. Participants: Three hundred and seventy-one students attending a large, public university in Texas. Method: Electronic surveys assessed predictors of college alcohol use. Comparisons were made between Christians and Non-theist participants on alcohol consumption and binge drinking, controlling for guilt, shame, relativism and idealism. Results: Christians drank more than Non-theists. Relativism was positively related to quantity of binge drinking episodes. Shame had no effect among Christians on alcohol consumption, but shame had a negative effect on alcohol consumption among Non-theists. Guilt had no effect among Christians on binge drinking, but guilt had a negative effect on binge drinking among Non-theists. There was a relativism by guilt interaction on binge drinking, with guilt having a negative effect on binge drinking only among individuals high in relativism. Conclusions: Data are supportive of continued investigation of the effects of ethical orientation and moral emotions on collegiate alcohol consumption and binge drinking.

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Keywords

Guilt, Shame, Alcohol use, Binge drinking, Ethical beliefs, Idealism, Relativism, Religion, College Students

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