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Religions 2017, 8(10), 210;

Association between Health Behaviours and Religion in Austrian High School Pupils—A Cross-Sectional Survey

Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems, Section for Outcomes Research, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry CV15 FB, UK
Medical Faculty, University of Bern, 3000 Bern, Switzerland
Research Institute for Spirituality and Health and Clinic SGM for Psychosomatic Medicine, 4900 Langenthal, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Clinical Practice)
Full-Text   |   PDF [261 KB, uploaded 29 September 2017]


The prevalence of risk factors for chronic diseases such as smoking, alcohol abuse, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and lack of physical activity is high among young adults. Health behaviours are influenced by many factors and also by religious orientation, as American studies show. The aim of the present study was to explore whether a similar association with religion exists in Austria (Europe). A cross-sectional survey was carried out in seven randomly selected high schools, whereby a total of 225 11th-grade pupils (64% girls, 36% boys; average age 16.4 years) were surveyed by means of an online questionnaire. The study reveals a positive association between religion and healthy food choices as well as meal patterns. Smoking (number of cigarettes smoked daily) and alcohol consumption (getting drunk) was negatively associated with religion. These negative associations remained after adjusting for confounding factors using logistic regression analysis. Thus, the study showed that religion is associated with a reduction in these risky health behaviours in Austrian high school pupils. However, due to the limitations of the study design, causality cannot be inferred. View Full-Text
Keywords: health behaviours; adolescents; religion health behaviours; adolescents; religion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gäbler, G.; Lycett, D.; Hefti, R. Association between Health Behaviours and Religion in Austrian High School Pupils—A Cross-Sectional Survey. Religions 2017, 8, 210.

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