Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2009 Volume 5 :: Article 10
2009 Volume 5, Article 10
Religion and Academic Achievement Among Adolescents

Author: Benjamin McKune (The Pennsylvania State University) and John P. Hoffmann (Brigham Young University)

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ABSTRACT

In this article, we examine the association between religiosity and academic achievement among adolescents. Recent research demonstrates a positive association between religiosity and academic success. However, some studies show that this association is due to family and community factors; for example, variation in levels of family capital among religious affiliates could explain it. Yet whether religious factors affect academic achievement among adolescents might also be due to the concordance or discordance of religiosity between parents and their children. Using data for two years from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the association between adolescents' religiosity, parents' religiosity, and academic achievement in light of the effects of family and community capital. The results indicate that the association between adolescents' religiosity and academic achievement is largely due to family social capital, but the association between academic achievement and religious homogamy between parents and adolescents is largely independent of family and community social capital. In particular, the highest achievement is predicted when parents and adolescents report similar levels of religiosity; the lowest achievement is predicted when parents report high religiosity and adolescents report low religiosity.

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