Journal Article

Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on U.S. Religious Service Attendance: The Declining Impact of Sex, Southern Residence, and Catholic Affiliation<sup>*</sup>

Philip Schwadel

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 71, issue 1, pages 2-24
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srq005
Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on U.S. Religious Service Attendance: The Declining Impact of Sex, Southern Residence, and Catholic Affiliation*

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I use repeated, cross-sectional data from 1972 to 2006 to analyze age, period, and cohort effects on Americans' frequency of religious service attendance with cross-classified, random-effects models. The results show that the frequency of religious service attendance is relatively stable, with a modest period-based decline in the 1990s and little overall cohort effect. Although aggregate rates of attendance are stable, there are large changes across cohorts and periods in differences in attendance between men and women, southerners and non-southerners, and Catholics and mainline Protestants. These results serve as a reminder that aggregate trends can mask substantial changes among specific groups, and that factors that strongly influence religious participation at one period or among one birth cohort may not be the same factors that affect participation at another time or among another cohort.

Keywords: religious service attendance; cohort; period; age; sex; south

Journal Article.  8381 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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