Mexican Adolescents' Intentions to Use Drugs: Gender Differences in the Protective Effects of Religiosity

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Youth in Mexico are using drugs at comparable rates to youth in the US. Early substance use has various negative health and social consequences including poor academic performance, negative impact on physical and brain development, legal problems, and the potential for abuse of other drugs. However, less is known about the social processes that may act as protective and risk factors for substance use among adolescents in Mexico, particularly the potential effects of religiosity and gender norms in Mexican youth. This study examined, first, if there were gender differences in self-reported internal religiosity (faith) and external religiosity (participation in religious activities) and second, if these gender differences were associated with substance use intentions.