Lack of a Secularizing Influence of Education on Religious Activity and Parity Among Mormons

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Abstract:

Research conducted in the early 1980s indicated that education does not have a secularizing influence on Mormons. Based on data from two cross–sectional surveys involving Utah residents in 1996 and 2000, we provide an updated assessment of the association between education and religiosity in Mormons and also consider this association in non–Mormons. We also evaluate the association between educational attainment and parity (i.e., number of children born to a woman) according to religious preference and religious activity. Consistent with previous research, we did not find education to have a secularizing influence on Mormons, but rather to have a positive association with religiosity for both Mormon men and women. Little or no association was observed in non–Mormons. Mean parity tended to decrease with higher education for both Mormons and non–Mormons. However, within categories of age and education, mean parity was considerably higher among religiously active Mormon women.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-5906.t01-1-00165

Affiliations: 1: Brigham Young University Ray_Merrill@buy.edu 2: University of Utah Jlyon@dfpm.utah.edu

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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