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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202130 Find in a Library
Title: Living up to Expectations: How Religion Alters the Delinquent Behavior of Low-Risk Adolescents
Author(s): Mark D. Regnerus
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Sale Source: Ctr for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society
Leadership Hall
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the impact of religion in keeping low-risk youth away from deleterious outcomes, such as drug and alcohol abuse, delinquent behavior, and school problems.
Abstract: While some youth who are at high-risk for problem behaviors actually do quite well, other youth who have low risk factors for engaging in deleterious behaviors find themselves in trouble nonetheless. The goal of this study was to test whether the role of religion and religious change served as a protective factor against drug and alcohol abuse, delinquency, and problems at school. The author analyzed two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which collected information from adolescents in grades 7 through 12 beginning in 1994. Variables under consideration included drinking, drug use, delinquency, falling behind in school, measures of religion, other risk and protective factors, personality traits, and academic ability. Results of a two-stage regression analysis indicated that those youth who attended weekly church services fared consistently better on each of the four deleterious outcomes than their counterparts who attended church services monthly or less. The differences were more marked for those youth who identified themselves as very religious. As such, the author concludes that positive religious influences help steer low-risk youth away from engaging in deleterious behaviors. More research is needed to discover the differential impact of private religiosity (personal importance of religion) versus public religiosity (church attendance) on deleterious outcomes for youth. Figures, appendix, endnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile Delinquent behavior; Religion
Index Term(s): Juvenile drug abusers; Risk taking behavior; Underage Drinking
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