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Religious Involvement, Social Ties, and Social Support in a Southeastern Community

Christopher G. Ellison and Linda K. George
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 33, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 46-61
DOI: 10.2307/1386636
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1386636
Page Count: 16
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Religious Involvement, Social Ties, and Social Support in a Southeastern Community
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Abstract

Although many studies suggest that religious participation enhances the social resources of individuals, there is little empirical evidence on this issue. This study develops a theoretical model linking institutional religious participation, social ties, and social support. Hypotheses derived from this model are then tested using data on a large (N = 2956) southeastern community sample. Frequent churchgoers report larger social networks, more contact with network members, more types of social support received, and more favorable perceptions of the quality of their social relationships than do their unchurched counterparts. Further, most of these empirical patterns withstand statistical controls for a wide range of covariates. A number of promising directions for future research on religious differences in social resources are identified.

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