Self-Reported Alcohol Consumption and Religiosity among Clinicians Affects Severity Ratings of Clients' Alcohol Consumption -- Salvatore P. Carbonaro, Jr., Student, School of Psychology and Heidi Mattila, Student, School of Psychology
This study examines the relationship between religiosity and self-reported drinking habits among clinicians and the severity ratings they assigned to their clients for alcohol consumption. Past research has found bias among clinicians in their severity rating of alcohol consumption when clients' socioeconomic status is known (Dawes et al., 1993), for gender (Arfken, 2001), and race (Schmidt et al., 2006). Among lay people, religiosity and one's own drinking habits has been found to affect perceptions of severity of alcoholism (Cochran et al., 1993). An alcohol questionnaire was utilized to record the drinking habits of 105 counselors and their perceptions regarding the severity of alcohol consumption of 2 random clients from a selection of 6 total vignettes. It was found that an inverse relationship exists between counselors' own drinking habits and their severity ratings for clients' alcohol consumption. Twelve counselors identified as "Christian" counselors had the lowest self-reported drinking habits and among the highest severity ratings for their clients' alcohol consumption.