A Population-based Analysis of the Influence of Religious Affiliation on Alcohol Consumption among Jamaicans

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 School of Nursing, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica

2 Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica

3 Department of General Studies and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kingston, Jamaica

Abstract

Background: Religion sometimes shapes behaviours and experiences of its members including alcohol consumption.
The aim of this study was to examine the possible influence of religious affiliation on alcohol consumption in Jamaica
since they are predominantly Christians. Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design, we analysed data from National
Household Survey 2,016 of 4,623 participants. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed using SPSS.
Results: Out of the 4,623 participants, majority 3,244 (70.2%) were above the age of 26 years and of Christian religion
3,737 (80.8%). Christian religious affiliation was significantly associated with past year and past month use of alcohol
(AOR= 1.44, 95% CI=1.14-1.82 and AOR =1.34, 95% CI=1.03- 1.74 respectively). Being a male (AOR= 2.95, 95%
CI=2.51- 3.47), and employed (AOR= 2.11, 95% CI= 1.49- 2.98) were significant risk factors for lifetime alcohol
consumption. Age 12 – 17 years (AOR= 0.30, 95% CI=0.21- 0.43) and attaining primary education level (AOR=0.60,
95% CI=0.45-0.80) were protective factors against lifetime alcohol consumption. Conclusion: Being of Christian
religion was significantly, positively associated with past year and past month alcohol consumption. Male gender and
being employed were also risk factors for lifetime alcohol consumption.

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