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Complex Interaction of Religiousness With Other Factors in Relation to Substance Use and Misuse Among Female Athletes

Strength of religious faith (SRF) is rarely studied as a protective factor against substance use and misuse in sports. Herein, we studied the potential buffering effect of the complex socio-educational, sports, and religiousness factors in the protection against substance use and misuse, including cigarettes, analgesics, appetite suppressants, potential doping behavior, and binge drinking. The sample of subjects included 40 high-class female athletes (22–26 years of age). Using a strictly anonymous questionnaire, we investigated different social, educational, and sports factors (including SRF measured by the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire) in relation to substance use and misuse. Following the calculation of simple correlations, multiple regression analysis revealed that in combination with low sports experience, SRF has a significant buffering effect against binge alcohol drinking and consumption of appetite suppressants. The data are discussed in comparison with previous findings and theoretical background. Future studies should study the topic while observing samples of recreational and competitive athletes of both genders.