Journal Article

Retrospective Accounts of Religious Disaffiliation in the United States: Stressors, Skepticism, and Political Factors

Nicholas Vargas

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 73, issue 2, pages 200-223
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srr044
Retrospective Accounts of Religious Disaffiliation in the United States: Stressors, Skepticism, and Political Factors

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Religion
  • Sociology of Religion

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

According to two recent reports, between 15 and 18 percent of Americans are now religiously unaffiliated, up from 7 percent in 1991. Using Wave 1 of the Portraits of American Life Study (PALS), I find that 13 percent of religiously affiliated Americans seriously considered leaving religion altogether between 2003 and 2006. However, less than half went on to actually disaffiliate by 2006. This study examines four key issues associated with both considering and actually leaving religion and investigates differences between religious stayers and leavers. In particular, I examine the potential influence of political attitudes, religious skepticism, life stressors, and sociodemographic characteristics. Results of binary and multinomial logistic regression analyses reveal that each is associated with considering and leaving religion, but not necessarily in uniform and expected directions.

Keywords: atheism/agnosticism/irreligion; religious disaffiliation; religious change; conversion

Journal Article.  9031 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.