Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Ingrid Whitaker

Committee Member

Randy Gainey

Committee Member

Melvina Sumter


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between religiosity and drug use among civilian, noninstitutionalized individuals over the age of 18 in the United States within the theoretical framework of Durkheim’s social integration theory. Focusing on the three aspects of religiosity, practice, belief, and affiliation, this study used logistic regression models to determine the relationship between drug use, specifically the use of marijuana/hashish, cocaine, and heroin, and religiosity. Control variables were incorporated into these models in order to separate the effects of religiosity from demographic variables. The research determined that individuals who reported higher measures of religiosity, both public (service attendance) and private (belief and affiliation), had reduced odds of drug use ever and in the last 30 days. Frequent service attendance had the stronger effect on those odds across all drugs tested. The results of this study supported Durkheim’s theory of social integration which posits that individuals who are more tightly integrated into their particular social network(s) are less likely to engage in deviant behavior, such as drug use. Individuals would rather conform to the norms of their social groups than risk being cast out of them.


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