Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Andrea Clements

Committee Members

Meredith Ginley, Jon Ellis, Matthew Palmatier


Religiousness, broadly defined, has been shown to be predictive of a variety of health outcomes. Past literature surrounding religiousness research has utilized different definitions and measures for the meaning of religiousness. How religiousness is defined can influence its relationship in relation to health outcomes. The present study utilized a measure for intrinsic religiousness, which is defined as an internalization of the tenets of a particular faith. The present study examined whether intrinsic religiousness predicts problematic or illicit substance use or pornography use in a sample of participants that included mostly undergraduate students from the Appalachian region, as well as some participants surveyed with the use of social media advertisements. Participants self-reported their religiousness using the Religious Surrender and Attendance Scale – 3 (RSAS-3), which has been shown to measure intrinsic religiousness. Religiousness as measured by the RSAS-3 predicted lower levels of illicit and problematic substance use, as well as lower levels of pornography use. The present study extends findings regarding religiousness and health outcomes. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.