skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 228437 Find in a Library
Title: Just Another Club?: The Distinctiveness of the Relation Between Religious Service Attendance and Adolescent Psychosocial Adjustment
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:38  Issue:9  Dated:October 2009  Pages:1153-1171
Author(s): Marie Good; Teena Willoughby; Jan Fritjers
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This Canadian study examined the effects on adolescent psychosocial adjustment of the frequency of participation in religious services compared with participation in youth clubs.
Abstract: The study found that attendance at religious services during teen years was uniquely associated with less risk-taking at all time points, but was also associated with less positive parental relationships and intrapersonal well-being in grades 11 and 12. Sustained religious service attendance was associated with significantly lower substance use and higher academic marks. Sustained club involvement predicted positive intrapersonal well-being, high academic marks, good friendship quality, and less substance use. Religious groups generally discourage risky behaviors such as substance use and positive achievement such as school success. On the other hand, sustained religious attendance into the adolescent years may be due to high levels of parental monitoring and/or control that impedes personal autonomy. The seeking of religious guidance and comfort may also indicate an effort to cope with problematic psychosocial adjustment, such as a parental divorce. The distinctive overall positive psychosocial adjustment among high schoolers with sustained participation in clubs may represent the development of personal autonomy reflected in a self-selected activity or the pursuit of a positive personal interest. Study participants included 1,050 students (47 percent girls) in a school district in Canada. They completed the survey first in ninth grade and again in grades 11 and 12. The survey measured the frequency of religious service attendance, club involvement, and various indicators of psychosocial adjustment. The latter indicators addressed intrapersonal well-being, substance use, academic success, and quality of relationships with parents and friends. The study used hierarchical linear modeling to compare longitudinal patterns of adolescent religious service attendance and club attendance, as well as to contrast the longitudinal links between adolescent adjustment and religious services compared with club attendance. 3 tables, 2 figures, and 79 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Canada; Comparative analysis; Drug prevention programs; Foreign criminal justice research; Religion; Religious programs; Socialization; Youth development; Youth groups
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.