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Journal Article

Religion and Achievement Motivation in the United States: A Structural Analysis

MARC S. MENTZER
Sociological Focus
Vol. 21, No. 4 (October 1988), pp. 307-316
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20831487
Page Count: 10
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Religion and Achievement Motivation in the United States: A Structural Analysis
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Abstract

According to McClelland (1961), Protestants should show greater achievement motivation than Catholics due to Weber's thesis of the Protestant work ethic. This proposition was tested using a sample of 144 U.S. counties. Partial correlation analysis indicated that there was no relationship between religion and achievement motivation when the latter was expressed as income per capita. However, when achievement motivation was operationalized as educational attainment, a significant relationship was found in the opposite direction of that suggested by McClelland's proposition. The possible existence of a "counter-ethic" in American Protestantism is discussed.

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