Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Emily R. Grekin


Although the relationship between religiosity-spirituality and risky alcohol use is one of the most frequently studied topics in mental health, relatively little is known about how these variables relate to each other over time, especially during specific developmental periods such as the transition from high school to college. This study analyzed three waves of self-report data collected from a sample (N=623) of college students over a two-year period. Analyses examined (1) the stability of religiosity-spirituality and risky drinking over the transition to college, (2) the magnitude and direction of relationships between religiosity-spirituality and risky drinking, (3) the degree to which third variables account for relationships between religiosity-spirituality and risky drinking, and (4) the degree to which observed relationships between religiosity-spirituality and risky drinking extend to multiple, alternative measures of these constructs. Religiosity-spirituality and risky drinking demonstrated a high degree of stability over the transition to college. Consistent with previous literature, religiosity-spirituality predicted risky drinking, but risky drinking did not predict religiosity-spirituality. Relationships between religiosity-spirituality and risky drinking were observed across multiple alternative measures of the constructs and remained significant even after controlling for race and conduct disorder symptoms. In conclusion, religiosity-spirituality is a stable and important correlate and predictor of risky drinking, as well as a potential target for prevention and intervention during the transition to college.