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Sinners or Saints? Preachers’ Kids and Risky Health Behaviors

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  • Jason Delaney

    ()

  • John Winters

    ()

Abstract

How do parents influence adolescent risky behavior? In this paper, we focus on a unique population: children of the clergy, more commonly known as preachers’ kids (PKs). We used data on risky behavior among American adolescents from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort and used 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 found that being a PK significantly reduced alcohol use. This effect came exclusively from a reduction in the probability of any alcohol use and this increased abstinence among children of the clergy persisted into adulthood. We found 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. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Delaney & John Winters, 2014. "Sinners or Saints? Preachers’ Kids and Risky Health Behaviors," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 464-476, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfamec:v:35:y:2014:i:4:p:464-476
    DOI: 10.1007/s10834-013-9388-6
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preacher’s kid; Religion; Risky behavior; Alcohol; Tobacco; Substance use; I19; J13; K42; Z12;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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