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Substance Use Versus Anxiety In Adolescents: Are Some Disorders More Spiritual Than Others?

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Chapter Summary

Recent epidemiologic studies reveal that alcohol use and anxiety continue to be prevalent problems beginning in the adolescent years. This chapter presents a study that explores the specific associations between these two highly prevalent disorders and a protective factor shown in previous research to be robust in adolescents': spirituality. This investigation is especially germane to adolescents as prior studies have indicated that the protective qualities of spirituality may be more robust in adolescents than adults, suggesting a potential role of spirituality in onset of these disorders. Substance use was associated with relational spirituality -a sense of personal ongoing connection with the Creator. In contrast, anxiety was associated with the quality of interpersonal relationships within a religious community. The results of the study suggest that substance use might best be understood as primarily a spiritual disorder, while anxiety may be fundamentally a social disorder.

Keywords:adolescent; alcohol use; anxiety; spiritual disorder



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