n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Religiosity and the preventive health behaviour of young adults




The role of religiosity in preventive health behaviour has received relatively little systematic research attention. Even so, extant literature suggests that religion may play complex and varied roles in enhancing people's health. However, the evidence has been both diverse and fragmentary One hundred and sixty unmarried undergraduates aged 18-29 years filled in a religiosity scale and a health behaviour questionnaire. The health behaviour questionnaire assessed medical and dental check-up, dietary avoidance, physical exercise, cigarette and alcohol behaviour, physical self-examination and sexual behaviour.

The results indicated a positive relationship between the degree of religiousness and health enhancing behaviours, and negative relationships between religiosity and health compromising behaviours. The strongest relationships are between medical check-up, sexual abstinence and avoidance of alcoholic beverages. All of these relationships suggest that the deeper the degree of religiousness the higher the level of preventive health behaviour engaged in by the individual.


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