Rates and correlates of alcohol use are reported from the 1993 General Social Survey, a household telephone survey of 10,385 Canadians carried out by Statistics Canada. Continuing a recent trend, alcohol use has declined. The portrait of the Canadian who is most likely to drink and drink heavily is that of a young adult male who is not married, relatively well-off, and rarely or never attends religious services. In a multivariate analysis of the combined impact of sociodemographic factors on drinking and drinking levels, it was found that the frequency of religious attendance and age were the strongest predictors of current drinking. Gender was the strongest predictor of volume of alcohol consumption, while religious attendance, age, marital status and employment status were also significant predictors.
Aging is associated with deterioration in health and well-being, but previous research suggests that this can be attenuated by maintaining group memberships and the valued social identities associated with them. In this regard, religious identification may be especially beneficial in helping individuals withstand the challenges of aging, partly because religious identity serves as a basis for a wider social network of other group memberships. This paper aims to examine relationships between religion (identification and group membership) and well-being among older adults. The contribution of having and maintaining multiple group memberships in mediating these relationships is assessed, and also compared to patterns associated with other group memberships (social and exercise).
Study 1 (N = 42) surveyed older adults living in residential care homes in Canada, who completed measures of religious identity, other group memberships, and depression. Study 2 (N = 7021) longitudinally assessed older adults in the UK on similar measures, but with the addition of perceived physical health.
In Study 1, religious identification was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, and membership in multiple groups mediated that relationship. However, no relationships between social or exercise groups and mental health were evident. Study 2 replicated these patterns, but additionally, maintaining multiple group memberships over time partially mediated the relationship between religious group membership and physical health.
Together these findings suggest that religious social networks are an especially valuable source of social capital among older adults, supporting well-being directly and by promoting additional group memberships (including those that are non-religious).
Symbolic healing is a complex phenomenon that is still relatively poorly understood. This paper documents a process of symbolic healing which is occurring in Canadian penitentiaries, and which involves Aboriginal offenders in cultural awareness and educational programs. The situation is compounded, however, by the existence of offenders from diverse Aboriginal cultural backgrounds with differing degrees of orientation to Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian cultures. Participants must first receive the necessary education to allow them to identify with the healing symbols so that healing may ensue, and both the healers and the patients must engage in a process of redefining their cultures in search of a common cultural base.
This paper examines a number of demographic and sociocultural factors (e.g., age, marital status, family size, religion, religious assiduity, sex-role ideology) as predictors of women's attitudes toward abortion, using data from the Canadian Fertility Survey of 1984. The findings suggest that women's abortion attitudes are to a greater extent based on ideological positions. It appears that anti-abortion stance affects those women who are religious, presumably by increasing the relationship between their general sex-role ideological stances and abortion attitudes. Abortion attitudes also vary according to a woman's education, her size, and province/region of residence.
Attitudes concerning the acceptability of suicide have been emphasized as being important for understanding why levels of suicide mortality vary in different societies across the world. While Russian suicide mortality levels are among the highest in the world, not much is known about attitudes to suicide in Russia. This study aims to obtain a greater understanding about the levels and correlates of suicide acceptance in Russia.
Data from a survey of 1,190 Muscovites were analysed using logistic regression techniques. Suicide acceptance was examined among respondents in relation to social, economic and demographic factors as well as in relation to attitudes towards other moral questions.
The majority of interviewees (80%) expressed condemnatory attitudes towards suicide, although men were slightly less condemning. The young, the higher educated, and the non-religious were more accepting of suicide (OR > 2). However, the two first-mentioned effects disappeared when controlling for tolerance, while a positive effect of lower education on suicide acceptance appeared. When controlling for other independent variables, no significant effects were found on suicide attitudes by gender, one's current family situation, or by health-related or economic problems.
The most important determinants of the respondents' attitudes towards suicide were their tolerance regarding other moral questions and their religiosity. More tolerant views, in general, also seemed to explain the more accepting views towards suicide among the young and the higher educated. Differences in suicide attitudes between the sexes seemed to be dependent on differences in other factors rather than on gender per se. Suicide attitudes also seemed to be more affected by one's earlier experiences in terms of upbringing and socialization than by events and processes later in life.
The relationships of personal acculturation and of personal-family acculturation match to depressive symptoms were investigated in a sample of 68 Muslim university students. Two dimensions of personal and family acculturation were assessed: heritage and mainstream culture identification. Participants completed the Vancouver Index of Acculturation (Ryder, Alden, & Paulhus, 2000 ) and the depressive disorder subscale of the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (Zimmerman & Mattia, 1999 ). For personal acculturation, individuals with high personal heritage culture identification reported fewer lifetime (but not past-year) depressive symptoms. In contrast, individuals with high personal mainstream culture identification reported more past-year (but not lifetime) depressive symptoms. The hypothesis that a match between personal and family acculturation orientation would be associated with fewer depressive symptoms was supported for heritage culture identification only. For past-year depression, the two match conditions (low or high personal and family heritage culture identification) were associated with significantly fewer depressive symptoms than a low personal/high family mismatch but did not differ from a high personal/low family mismatch. For lifetime depression, a high personal/high family match was associated with significantly fewer depressive symptoms than all other conditions. Findings suggests that, for Muslims, a match of high personal and high family heritage culture identification may act as a protective factor for the experience of depressive symptoms both in the short term (past year) and in the long term (lifetime).