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Patterns of Religious Disaffiliation: A Study of Lifelong Mormons, Mormon Converts, and Former Mormons

Stan L. Albrecht and Howard M. Bahr
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 1983), pp. 366-379
DOI: 10.2307/1385774
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1385774
Page Count: 14
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Patterns of Religious Disaffiliation: A Study of Lifelong Mormons, Mormon Converts, and Former Mormons
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Abstract

Disaffiliation from fast-growing religious organizations has received comparatively little research attention. Yet, all groups do experience some loss of membership either through members leaving to join other religions or through their termination of formal religious involvement altogether. We examine patterns of religious disaffiliation from the Mormon Church by focusing on religious attitudes and behavior of former Mormons and by comparing them with currently affiliated Mormons (both lifelong members and converts) and with members of other major religious groups. The most typical pattern of disaffiliation for Mormons is to "drop out" of religious participation altogether. Disaffiliates of all types (including those who switch to another religious faith) exhibit lower levels of religiosity than do both lifelong Mormons and Mormon converts.

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