Oil Spill Disruption and Problem Drinking

Assessing the Impact of Religious Context Among Gulf Coast Residents

Published in: Population Research and Policy Review, Volume 39, pages 119-146 (2020). doi: 10.1007/s11113-019-09520-7

Posted on RAND.org on September 16, 2020

by Leah Drakeford, Vanessa Parks, Tim Slack, Rajeev Ramchand, Melissa L. Finucane, Matthew R. Lee

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While a wide body of research has indicated that social resources may be enhanced through religious practice, few studies have explored how social resources are impacted by the intersection of the social and individual domains of religion. Using data from the recently conducted Survey of Trauma, Resilience, and Opportunity among Neighborhoods in the Gulf, this study employs multilevel analysis to examine the impact of religious context on alcohol misuse among individuals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Our findings indicate that residence in areas that have high levels of religious concentration may magnify the risk of problem drinking among disaster-affected individuals for whom religion is not very salient, suggesting that religious context may influence the distribution of social resources differently between the religious and irreligious.

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