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Sinners or Saints? Preachers' Kids and Risky Health Behaviors

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Author Info

  • Delaney, Jason J.

    ()
    (Georgia Gwinnett College)

  • Winters, John V.

    ()
    (Oklahoma State University)

Abstract

This paper examines parental influence on adolescent risky behavior, focusing on a unique population: children of the clergy, more commonly known as preachers' kids (PKs). We use latent variable and zero-inflated count models to analyze the effect of being a PK on both uptake and intensity of use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and other drugs. We find that being a PK significantly reduces alcohol use. This effect comes exclusively from a reduction in the probability of any alcohol use and this increased abstinence among children of the clergy persists into adulthood. These results are consistent with popular conceptions that PKs either take no risks or take large risks. We find no significant effects of being a PK on cigarette uptake or intensity of use but some evidence of a negative PK effect on the uptake of marijuana and other drugs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7434.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Family and Economic Issues
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7434

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Related research

Keywords: tobacco; alcohol; risky behavior; religion; preacher's kid; substance use;

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References

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  1. Barry Chiswick & Donka Mirtcheva, 2013. "Religion and Child Health: Religious Affiliation, Importance, and Attendance and Health Status among American Youth," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 120-140, March.
  2. Cawley, John & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2011. "The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors," IZA Discussion Papers 5728, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Wen You & George Davis, 2011. "Childhood Overweight: Does Quality of Parental Childcare Time Matter?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 219-232, June.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Mirtcheva, Donka M., 2010. "Religion and Child Health," IZA Discussion Papers 5215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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