Journal Article

Denominational Identity from Age Sixteen to Age Thirty-Eight

Dean R. Hoge and Thomas P. O'Connor

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 65, issue 1, pages 77-85
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Denominational Identity from Age Sixteen to Age Thirty-Eight

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A sample of suburban Baptist, Catholic, and Methodist youth first studied in 1975 at an average age of 16 were re-interviewed when they were 38 years old. At age 38 the persons raised Catholic were signifkandy stronger in denominational loyalty than the others, and fewer of the original Catholic sample had formally switched to another denomination. In regression analysis the only significant predictors of denominational loyalty at age 38 were variables collected at age 16 — denomination of childhood, family culture, and participation in church youth programs they liked; later experiences had little effect. Denominational loyalty, which formed early in life, was not predictive of one's rate of church attendance at age 38.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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