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Alternative Schooling Strategies and the Religious Lives of American Adolescents

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I analyze the effects of Catholic schooling, Protestant schooling, and homeschooling on adolescents' religious lives and test three mechanisms through which these schooling strategies might influence religiosity: friendship networks, network closure, and adult mentors. Data from Wave 1 of the National Survey of Youth and Religion suggest that Catholic schoolers attend religious services more frequently and value their faith more highly than public schoolers, but attend religious education classes and youth group less often. Protestant schoolers' involvement in their local congregation is similar to public schoolers', but their faith plays a more salient role in their life and they are more active in private religious activities. Homeschoolers do not differ significantly from public schoolers on any outcome considered. Moreover, friendship networks, network closure, and adult mentors play a very limited role in mediating the relationships between schooling strategies and adolescent religiosity. Interpretations of these findings are presented and discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Jeremy E. Uecker is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Publication date: 01 December 2008

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