Religion and Selected Health Behaviors Among Latinos in Texas

Ginny Garcia, Christopher G. Ellison, Thankam S. Sunil, Terrence D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Though research has shown that religion provides a protective influence with respect to a number of health-related outcomes, little work has examined its influence on patterns of alcohol (especially binge drinking) and tobacco consumption among Latinos in Texas. Thus, we used a probability sample of Texas adults to test this relationship via logistic regression. Our results revealed that clear distinctions emerge on the basis of both denomination and frequency of attendance. Specifically, Protestants who regularly attend religious services are significantly more likely to be abstainers and to have never smoked, while those with no religious affiliation exhibit relatively unfavorable risk profiles. These findings persist despite a range of socio-demographic controls. Our study supports the assertion that religion may serve as an important protective influence on risky health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-31
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Alcohol
  • Health
  • Latino
  • Religion
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Religious studies


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