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Alcohol abuse and other risky behaviors, such as illegal drug use and unplanned sex, are not uncommon on college campuses. Peers often influence these behaviors and students continue to believe involvement in them is connected to their college experience where students examine life’s meaning and purpose (Dodd, Glassman, Arthur, Webb & Miller, 2010). Therefore, an understanding of this relationship is needed. Qualitative, one-on-one interviews were conducted with eight female undergraduate students. Participants were all actively involved in a faith-based student organization on campus. Findings revealed students’ tendency to avoid risky behaviors due to their desire to honor their spiritual beliefs. Family, spiritual mentors and other members of their faith communities play a significant role in their decision-making process.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Nasser Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


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Thou Shall Not: The Impact of Faith on Female Students' Decision to Engage in Risky Behaviors