The Role of Altruism in Impulsivity, Religiosity and Substance Use

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Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Kimberly McAdams


Altruistic interventions have successfully reduced the level of trait impulsivity, an established factor in a wide range of psychopathological disorders, in children and adolescents (Eisenberg, 1999). Previous studies have linked religiosity to altruism (Zhao, 2012), but little research is available on the intermediary relationships between altruism and other personality constructs, such as impulsivity. In addition, little information is available about possible correlations between altruism and substance use, which is often comorbid with impulsivity (Moeller, Barratt, Dougherty, Schmitz & Swann, 2001). An anonymous survey assesses the relationships between altruism, impulsivity, substance use and religiosity. Contrary to previous research, altruism did not have a statistically significant relationship to religiosity, and showed no relationship to impulsivity or substance use. Among constructs, impulsivity and substance use show a strong positive correlation, and religiosity and substance use show a strong negative correlation. No significant difference in altruism was found between substance users grouped based on type of substance.

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