Religious reference groups and the persistence of normative behavior: An empirical test

Citation
Ae. Roberts et al., Religious reference groups and the persistence of normative behavior: An empirical test, SOCIOL SPEC, 21(1), 2001, pp. 81-98
Citations number
14
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIOLOGICAL SPECTRUM
ISSN journal
0273-2173 → ACNP
Volume
21
Issue
1
Year of publication
2001
Pages
81 - 98
Database
ISI
SICI code
0273-2173(200101/03)21:1<81:RRGATP>2.0.ZU;2-5
Abstract
Reference groups and significant others are vitally important in both the f ormation and the persistence or change of normative as well as deviant beha vior patterns. Thus one's initial religious beliefs and behavior (or lack t hereof) reflect the socializing influence of the family. However, the situa tion may change when young people leave home for education or work, as demo nstrated by research that shows decreases in religious beliefs or church at tendance when young people leave home to attend college. In contrast to the pattern whereby religiosity declines in a college or university environmen t, we maintain that students who develop close ties with others who are rel igious, especially in a highly religious community, will maintain the same patterns of high commitment developed in their families. Specifically, we h ypothesize that religious beliefs and participation will be positively rela ted to (1) parents' religious beliefs and practices and (2) current friends ' religious beliefs and participation. These hypotheses were tested with a sample of college students living on campus (n = 339). The data support the argument that students' current religious beliefs and behavior are related to both their parents' religiosity and the reinforcing effects of the reli giosity of their current friends.