Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Religiousness and substance use in children of opiate addicts.

PURPOSE: To investigate among children of opiate addicts a potential protective effect of religiousness (broadly defined in the literature to include religious beliefs, practice, and tradition) against onset of substance use.

METHODS: Subjects were 161 opiate-addicted biological parents recruited from methadone maintenance programs in the New York metropolitan area, their 279 children, and 63 non-opiate-addicted parents with whom the child had daily contact. Childhood onset of substance use was assessed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Aged Children (K-SADS); parental DSM-III-R diagnosis of opiate addiction was assessed using the SADS-Lifetime Version (SADS-L).

RESULTS: Religiousness in children of opiate addicts was associated with a substantially decreased likelihood of onset of substance use. Parent-child concordance of religiousness showed additional protective qualities with respect to religious denomination in opiate-addicted parent and with respect to the personal importance of religion and frequent attendance of religious services in non-opiate-addicted parents.

CONCLUSION: Religiousness protects against substance use among children of opiate addicts.

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