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CRRUCS Report
2001


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

APPENDIX B: VARIABLE OPERATIONALIZATION

Constructs, Dimensions, and Description of Items

Factor
Loadings
W1 W3 W4 W5

Reliability
Coefficients (a)
W1 W3 W4 W5

NEIGHBORHOOD DISORDER

 

 

“I am going to read a list of problems that sometimes occur in neighborhoods.  Please tell me whether you think each is a problem in this neighborhood, whether  it’s a Big Problem, Somewhat of a Problem, or Not  a Problem at all.” (1=not a problem; 2=somewhat of a problem; 3=big problem)

 

 

(a) vandalism, buildings and personal  belongings broken and torn up 
(b) winos and junkies
(c) traffic
(d) abandoned houses
(e) burglaries and thefts
(f) run down and poorly kept buildings and yards
(g) assaults and muggings
 

.66
.64
.32
.57
.65
.50
.68

.78

INDIVIDUAL RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT

 

 

“During the past year, how often did you attend church, synagogue, other religious services?” (1=never; 2=several times a year; 3=once or twice a month; 4=once a week; 5=several times a week)
“How important has religion been in your life?” (1=not important at all; 2=not too important; 3=somewhat important; 4=pretty important; 5=very important)
 

 

 

Constructs, Dimensions, and Description of Items

Factor
Loadings
W1 W3 W4 W5

Reliability
Coefficients (a)
W1 W3 W4 W5

FAMILY BONDING

 

 

Family Involvement
“On the average, how many ___ during the school week have you spent talking, working, or playing with your family?” (0 through 5)

 

 

(a)  afternoons ... from the end of school or work to dinner
(b)  evenings ... from dinnertime to bedtime

.73 .70 .74
.80 .82 .87

.74 .73 .76

“On the weekends, how much time have you generally spent talking, working, or playing with your family?” (1=very little; 2=not too much; 3=some; 4=quite a bit; 5=a great deal)
 

.59 .57 .57

 

Constructs, Dimensions, and Description of Items

Factor
Loadings
W1 W3 W4 W5

Reliability
Coefficients (a)
W1 W3 W4 W5

FAMILY BONDING

 

 

Family Attachment
“How much do you agree or disagree with (that) ...?” (1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree nor disagree; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree)

 

 

(a)  I feel like an outsider with family  
(b)  My family is willing to listen if I have a problem   
(c)  Sometimes I feel lonely when I’m with my family  
(d)  I feel close to my family
(e)  My family doesn’t take much interest in my problems
 

.74 .75 .79
.64 .75 .71
.46 .52 .51
.80 .78 .74
.78 .74 .72

.81 .83 .82 .84

Constructs, Dimensions, and Description of Items

Factor
Loadings
W3 W4 W5

Reliability
Coefficients (a)
W3 W4 W5

SCHOOL BONDING

 

 

Involvement in Homework
“On the average, how many ___ during the school week have you spent studying?” (0 through 5)

 

 

(a)  afternoons ... from the end of school or work to dinner 
(b)  evenings ... from dinnertime to bedtime    

.60 .65 .66
.69 .70 .74

 .69 .72 .74 .71

“On the weekends, how much time have you generally spent studying?” (1=very little; 2=not too much; 3=some; 4=quite a bit; 5=a great deal) 

.66 .70 .70

 

Attachment to School/Teachers
 “How much do you agree or disagree with (that) ...?” (1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=neither agree nor disagree; 4=agree; 5=strongly agree)

 

 

(a)  Teachers don’t call on me in class, even when I raise my hand
(b)  I often feel like nobody at school cares about me  
(c)  Teachers don’t ask me to work on special classroom projects  
(d)  I don’t feel as if I really belong at school 
(e)  Even though there are lots of kids around, I often feel lonely at school 
 

.47 .51 .54
.62 .59 .60
.40 .54 .49
.61 .64 .58
.55 .51 .50
 

.66 .69 .68 .69

Constructs, Dimensions, and Description of Items

Factor
Loadings
W3 W4 W5

Reliability
Coefficients (a)
W3 W4 W5

SCHOOL BONDING

 

 

School Performance
“What is your grade point average?” (1=mostly F’s; 2=mostly D’s; 3=mostly C’s; 4=mostly B’s; 5=mostly A’s)
 

 

 

ASSOCIATION WITH DRUG-USING PEERS

 

 

“During the last year how many of (your close friends) have ...?” (1=none of them; 2=very few of them; 3=some of them; 4=most of them; 5=all of them)

 

 

(a)  used marijuana or hashish  
(b)  used alcohol
(c)  gotten drunk once in a while 
(d)  used prescription drugs such as amphetamines or  barbiturates when there was no medical need for them
 

.76 .74 .71
.92 .92 .92
.91 .92 .91
.42 .42 .44

.84 .84 .84

PRO-DRUG ATTITUDES

 

 

“For this next set of questions, please tell me how wrong you think each of the following things is for you or  someone your age.” (1=not wrong at all; 2=a little bit wrong; 3=wrong; 4=very wrong)

 

 

(a) use marijuana or hashish  
(b) use alcohol 
(c) get drunk once in a while 
(d) use prescription drugs such as amphetamines or barbiturates when there is no medical need for them

 

.82 .80 .78
.88 .87 .89
.88 .86 .87
.52 .50 .51
 

.86 .85 .85

 


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

EMAIL THIS | PRINTER FRIENDLY

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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