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CRRUCS Report
2001


A Better Kind of High: How Religious Commitment Reduces Drug Use Among Poor Urban Teens

APPENDIX A: STUDY DETAILS

The study uses data from the National Youth Survey (NYS), a longitudinal study of a national probability sample of 1,725 persons aged 11 to 17 in early 1977. After the seven birth cohorts in the sample and their parents were first interviewed in early 1977, adolescent respondents were re-interviewed in each of the subsequent five years. Each of the interviews is known as a “wave.” The study analyzes the data from Waves 3-5, when items on individual religious commitment were included in the survey, and Wave 1 parent data only for the measures of neighborhood disorder, class, and family structure.

We further refined this data because we have to treat neighborhood disorder, which can change over time, as time-invariant because the NYS only contains data for it in the initial, 1977 interviews.  Accordingly, the study confines our analysis to those adolescents who did not move during the five-year survey period, and assumes that the neighborhood environment remained the same as that described at the first-wave interview. While the NYS data do not include any direct measure of residential mobility, it did classify people’s place-of-residence by a urban-suburban-rural classification.37 Over the first five waves a total of 220 respondents moved between two of the levels of classification, leaving 1,505 respondents eligible for our analysis, 72% (n = 1,087) of which provided sufficient data for multilevel analysis. The sex (53% male and 47% female) and race (79% white and 21% nonwhite) distributions of the final sample remain the same as those of the original total sample at the first five waves.

 


Center for Civic Innovation.

University of Penn.
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Center for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society
SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
John J. DiIulio, Jr., Founding Director

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WHAT THE PRESS SAID:

Keeping the Faith The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2000
Faith-based organizations: A promise still untested by Jane Eisner, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 2000
Uncle Shrub's Cabin Black Church Backers Sing Hosannahs by James Ridgeway, The Village Voice, August 1, 2000
To combat drug use among teens, religion is a proven, powerful tool by Byron R. Johnson The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 30, 2000

SUMMARY:
Dr. Byron Johnson’s important analysis demonstrates that religious commitment among inner city teens dramatically reduces their likelihood to take illegal drugs. In fact, he finds that religious low-income urban teenagers are much less likely to use drugs than non-religious youths living in middle class neighborhoods.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Foreword

Report

Why Neighborhood Conditions Affect Teen Drug Use

Why Individual Religious Commitment Matters

Study Design

Key Study Variables

Analytic Strategy

Summary of Findings

Conclusion

Appendix A: Study Details

Appendix B: Variable Operationalization

Appendix C: Analytic Model

Appendix D: Table 1

Appendix D: Tables 2 & 3

Appendix E: Figures 1-2

Endnotes

About CRRUCS

 


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