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Specifying the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Educational Attainment

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Recent studies have demonstrated that conservative Protestantism negatively affects educational advancement. However, these studies have treated conservative Protestantism as a monolithic religious bloc that uniformly constrains achieving higher education. Disaggregating conservative Protestantism into fundamentalists, Pentecostals, and evangelicals reveals that the relationship between conservative Protestantism and educational attainment is more complex than recently shown. Findings from a nationally representative sample of Americans show that fundamentalists and Pentecostals are generally less likely to be college educated relative to other religious groups and nonreligious affiliates. The findings also show that not only are evangelicals more likely to be college educated than fundamentalists and Pentecostals, but with the exception of Jews, they are as likely or more likely than other religious groups and nonreligious affiliates to be college educated. This article suggests that different cultural traditions explain the variation in educational attainment among conservative Protestants.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2004.00252.x

Affiliations: Kraig Beyerlein can be reached at the Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #3210, Hamilton Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210., Email: kkbeyerl@email.unc.edu

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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