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Journal Article

The Impact of Religious Identification on Differences in Educational Attainment among American Women in 1990

Ariela Keysar and Barry A. Kosmin
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 34, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), pp. 49-62
DOI: 10.2307/1386522
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1386522
Page Count: 14
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The Impact of Religious Identification on Differences in Educational Attainment among American Women in 1990
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Abstract

This study demonstrates that religion is significantly associated with the acquisition of postsecondary education by white women in the contemporary United States. Religion has both direct and indirect effects on educational attainment. Religious traditions differ in the degree to which they emphasize the importance of the family, marriage, and child bearing. This, in turn, influences how much higher education the women of the group are likely to obtain. Thus, religion has an indirect effect on the educational levels of women through their demographic behavior. In addition, we show that there is a relationship between religion and the education of white women that is maintained beyond other sociodemographic factors. A refined model involving 12 religious identifications on a conservative-liberal continuum, subjected to multivariate analyses, illustrates that educational differences tend to be wider among older women. Surprisingly, Conservative Protestant and No Religion adherents do not form the polarities, but have similar middle-order levels of educational attainment.

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