Spirituality and Addictive Behaviors Research Program

Dr. Johnson has conducted research on college student alcohol use for the past 10 years. Dr. Kristeller has done extensive research on both tobacco use and binge eating. In addition to the work on mindfulness meditation and binge eating (make sure to visit the links describing the meditation research program), our work on spirituality and addiction has focused on identifying mediators of the relationship between religiousness/spirituality and alcohol use and problems in college students. An inverse relationship between religiousness and alcohol use has been documented repeatedly in studies spanning over 40 years. However, the possible causes of this relationship have received less attention. Our work to date suggests that religious involvement may affect alcohol use by fostering negative attitudes towards alcohol, reducing contact with heavy drinking peers, and fostering higher levels of general well-being. However, we have also found that students who report higher levels of religious distress also report higher levels of alcohol problems.

In July 2004, Dr. Johnson served as a presenter at a meeting sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Johnson Institute, the Fetzer Institue, and the national Association for Children of Alcoholics. The interfaith task force at this meeting is working together to develop a curriculum on prevention and treatment of alcohol problems for use by clergy, pastoral counselors, and other ministry professionals.

On March 10-12, 2005, the Center hosted a conference on Addiction and Spirituality. The conference featured keynote presentations by Dr. Alan Marlatt and Dr. Linda Mercadante, as well as presentations by a number of researchers (including Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kristeller) who have conducted NIH funded research on spirituality and addiction.

Publications and Presentations on Spirituality and Addictive Behaviors:

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2006, July).  Identifying mediators of the relationship between religiousness and alcohol use: Beliefs, meaning, and perceptions of peer drinking.  Paper presented at the International Network on Personal Meaning Conference:  Meaning and Addiction, Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2006, February).  Measuring Students' experience of college as threatening or supporting their religious beliefs:  Relationships to meaning, purpose, and other correlates.  Paper presented at the Institute on College Student Values, Tallahassee, Florida.

Leigh, J, Johnson, T. J., Bowen, S., & Marlatt, G. A. (2005, November).  Spirituality, mindfulness and substance abuse - Study II.  Poster presented at the meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Kristeller, J., Sheets, V., Johnson, T, Frank, E. (2005, April). Understanding and addressing the spiritual concerns of cancer patients. Paper presented at Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meetings. Boston, MA.

.Johnson, T. J. (2005, March).  Explaining the connection between religiousness/spirituality and alcohol problems.  Paper presented at the conference:  Addiction and Spirituality:  Scientific, Theological, & Clinical Perspectives.  Terre Haute, Indiana.

Halberda, R., Johnson, T. J., & Kaskutas, L. A. (2005, March). Helping behavior, well-being, and alcohol use in college studentsPaper presented at the conference:  Addiction and Spirituality:  Scientific, Theological, & Clinical Perspectives.  Terre Haute, Indiana.

Maddux, J., Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2005, March).  Religiousness and alcohol use in college students:  Patterning of relationships by race.  Paper presented at the conference:  Addiction and Spirituality:  Scientific, Theological, & Clinical Perspectives.  Terre Haute, Indiana.

Johnson, T. J., Kristeller, J., Sheets, V. L (2004). Religiousness and Spirituality in College Students: Separate Dimensions with Unique and Common Correlates. Proceedings of the Institute on College Student Values: Soul Searching: Trends and Patterns in College Student Spirituality.  Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.  Available at the following url: http://www.collegevalues.org

Johnson, T. J., Maddux, J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2004, June). Prospective test of mediators of the relationship between religiousness and alcohol use. Poster presented at the meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, June 2004, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Johnson, T. J., Kristeller, J., Sheets, V. L (2004, February). Religiousness and Spirituality in College Students: Separate Dimensions with Unique and Common Correlates. Paper presented at the conference “Soul Searching: Trends and Patterns in College Student Spirituality” at the Institute on College Student Values; Florida State University; Tallahassee, Florida.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2003). Do motives matter?: their relationship to college student drinking, religiousness, and spirituality. (Abstract). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27, 115A.

Johnson, T. J., Freimuth, T., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2003).Motives for drinking mediate relationships between life goals and alcohol use. (Abstract). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27, 104A.

Johnson, T. J., Kristeller, J., Sheets, V. L., & Shiber, N (2003, June). Fruits of the Spirit: Correlates of Altruism in College Students. Paper presented at the Conference Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Altruism, Philadelphia, PA.

Kristeller, J., Johnson, T., & Sheets, V. (2003, March). Structural Validity of Spiritual and Religious Dimensions in Relation to Alcohol Use. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2002, August). Motives, Meaning, and Addiction: Personal Goals in Alcoholism and Spirituality. Paper presentation at the 2002 meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2001, May). Motives for drinking mediate relationships between religiousness and alcohol use. Poster presented at the 2001 meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Kristeller, J.L., Hallett, B. (1999). Effects of a Meditation-Based Intervention in the Treatment of Binge Eating. Journal of Health Psychology. 4(3), 357-363.

Marlatt, G.A., & Kristeller, J.L. (1999). Mindfulness and meditation. In W. R. Miller (Ed.). Integrating Spirituality in Treatment. (pp. 67-84). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Varney, S.M. & Johnson, T. (1999). Scale of cognitive adaptation to alcoholism: Development and preliminary validation (Abstract). Supplement to Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 23, 122A.

Johnson, T. J., & Bennett, P. (in press).  Faith based programs.  In L. Cohen, F. L. Collins, A. M. Young, D. E. McChargue & T. R. Leffingwell (Eds.), The Pharmacology and Treatment of Substance Abuse:  An Evidence based Approach.  Mahwah, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2008).  Identifying Mediators of the Relationship Between Religiousness/Spirituality and Alcohol Use.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69, 160 - 170.

Johnson, T. J., Carlisle, R., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J. (2008, February).  Prospective examination of the relationship between religious struggle and alcohol problems in a college sample.  Paper presented at the annual midyear meeting of APA Division 36 - The Psychology of Religion, Columbia, Maryland.

Johnson, T. J. (2007, September).  Introduction to faith based approaches.  Professional education workshop conducted at the Mid Central Conference on Problem Gambling and Other Counseling Issues for Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia:  Partnerships for the Future:  Examining the Impacts of Problem Gambling on Society.  French Lick, Indiana.

Johnson, T. J., Madsen, M., Aten, J., & Bennett, P. (2007, July).  Predictors of Alcohol Use in Survivors of Hurricane Katrina.  Poster presented at the meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, Chicago, Illinois.

Johnson, T. J., Sheets, V. L., & Kristeller, J (2007, July).  Prospective Examination of the Relationship Between Religiousness and Alchohol Use and Problems.  Poster presented at the meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, Chicago, Illinois.

  

Student Dissertations Related to Spirituality and Addiction:

Jemour A. Maddux (2007): Breaking Chains: Life Stress, Adjustment, and Religious Support in Black-Americans. (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Michelle Lynn Drerup (2005): Religion/Spirituality and Motives for Drinking in an Adult Community Sample. (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Randy Halberda (2005): Mixing Motives: The Relationship Between College Students’ Helping Behaviors and Alcohol Use. (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Alison Glanville (2007). Domain Specific Identity Commitment and Alcohol Use and Problems. (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Nicole A. Shiber (Psy.D., 2003): Personal Projects and Motives for Drinking Behavior in College Students: An Exploratory Study. (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Troy Freimuth (Psy.D., 2002): Motives for Drinking in College Students (Incorporating the Role of Personal Strivings). (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Selene Varney (Psy.D., 1998): Development and Validation of a Measure of Cognitive Adaptation to Alcoholism. (Dissertation Advisor: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.)

Grants on Spirituality and Addictive Behaviors

"Mindfulness Meditation vs. CBT in Eating Regulation"
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jean Kristeller
Co-Investigators: Dr. Ruth Quillian-Wolever (Duke University Center for Integrative Medicine); Dr. Michael Baime (University of Pennsylvania Medical School); Dr. Virgil Sheets (Indiana State University).
Agency: NIH, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Status: Funded for $1.8 million over 4 years.

“Spirituality and Motives for Drinking and Not Drinking”. (R21)
Principal Investigator: Thomas J. Johnson, Ph.D.
Co-Investigators: Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., Virgil Sheets, Ph.D.
Agency: NIH - NIAAA.
Period: March 1, 2002 to February 28, 2005.
Description: The objective of this study is to examine motives for drinking and not drinking as mediators of the relationship between spirituality and alcohol use in college students.

“Meditation-based Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder”. (R21).
Principal Investigator: Jean Kristeller, Ph.D.
Co-PI: Ruth Quillian, Ph.D. Duke University.
Co-Investigators: Virgil Sheets, Ph.D., Michele Boyer, Ph.D.
Agency: NIH – NCCAM.
Period: Sept. 28, 2001 to June, 2004
Description: A multi-site (with Duke University) randomized clinical trial comparing a mindfulness-meditation based intervention to a psycho-educational and a waiting list control for binge eating in the obese.