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Trajectories of Religious Participation from Adolescence to Young Adulthood

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Using a life course approach, this study examines trajectories of religious participation from early adolescence through young adulthood. Distinct patterns of religious participation are identified, providing insight into how trajectories are shaped by family and religious characteristics and demonstrating the influence of life events on changes in religious participation. The study employs a group-based method of trajectory analysis, identifying three trajectories of stable religious participation (nonattendance, occasional attendance, and frequent attendance) and three trajectories of change (early, late, and gradual declining attendance). Residing with two biological parents and in a religious family increases the likelihood that youth attend religious services throughout adolescence. Religious disaffiliation is associated with lower religious participation for youth in all trajectories; marriage, cohabitation, and religious switching/conversion are associated with changes in participation among youth in the frequent and occasional attendance trajectories only.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sociology Ball State University

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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