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Religious Involvement across Societies: Analyses for Alternative Measures in National Surveys

Robert A. Campbell and James E. Curtis
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 217-229
DOI: 10.2307/1386687
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1386687
Page Count: 13
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Religious Involvement across Societies: Analyses for Alternative Measures in National Surveys
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Abstract

This paper extends Sigelman's (1977) analyses of cross-national patterns in reported levels of church attendance and subscription to selected religious beliefs. The analyses are extended in these ways: More countries are included in the comparisons; more measures of religious involvement are employed; and the data are for about 15 years later, from the same period in the 1980s, for each country. Also, we present multivariate controlled comparisons across nations, which were not provided in Sigelman's analyses. Among the results is evidence that Americans are comparably high, but not always first, in involvement levels, both before and after controls for six sociodemographic status measures. Nation of residence is considerably stronger than each control variable (educational attainment, employment status, age, marital status, community size, and broad categories of religious affiliation) as a predictor, for all of the measures of religious involvement. The different profiles of the nations on the social status controls, and their effects upon involvement, do not explain the cross-national patterns in involvement. Alternative interpretations of the comparative results are discussed.

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