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Psychol Addict Behav. 2010 Jun;24(2):209-19. doi: 10.1037/a0018746.

Invocations and intoxication: does prayer decrease alcohol consumption?

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1
Department of Family and Child Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA. nlambert@fsu.edu

Abstract

Four methodologically diverse studies (N = 1,758) show that prayer frequency and alcohol consumption are negatively related. In Study 1 (n = 824), we used a cross-sectional design and found that higher prayer frequency was related to lower alcohol consumption and problematic drinking behavior. Study 2 (n = 702) used a longitudinal design and found that more frequent prayer at Time 1 predicted less alcohol consumption and problematic drinking behavior at Time 2, and this relationship held when controlling for baseline levels of drinking and prayer. In Study 3 (n = 117), we used an experimental design to test for a causal relationship between prayer frequency and alcohol consumption. Participants assigned to pray every day (either an undirected prayer or a prayer for a relationship partner) for 4 weeks drank about half as much alcohol at the conclusion of the study as control participants. Study 4 (n = 115) replicated the findings of Study 3, as prayer again reduced drinking by about half. These findings are discussed in terms of prayer as reducing drinking motives.

PMID:
20565147
DOI:
10.1037/a0018746
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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