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Serving God and Country? Religious Involvement and Military Service Among Young Adult Men

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Despite important connections between religion and military action throughout world history, scholars have seldom explored the association between religiosity and military enlistment. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we used a person-oriented analysis to categorize young men according to patterns of adolescent religious involvement. Youth indentified as “highly religious evangelical” are more likely to enlist in the military compared to their “highly religious nonevangelical” and “nonreligious” counterparts; however, these findings hold only for those young men without college experience. These findings are discussed along with study limitations and promising directions for future research.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology Mississippi State University 2: Carolina Population Center University of North Carolina 3: Department of Sociology University of Miami 4: Departments of Sociology and Anthropology Colgate University

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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