Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study: Generation X more loyal to religion

26.08.2010
Baby Boomers are 40 to 50 percent more likely to 'disaffiliate' from their faith

Generation X, the set of Americans who came of age in the late 1980s and early 1990s, is often branded as a rules-rejecting, authority-questioning group.

But when it comes to religion, new research has revealed that Gen-Xers are surprisingly loyal to their faith – a finding that also suggests the rising non-religious tide in the United States may be leveling off.

In a study published in the latest edition of The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociologist Philip Schwadel showed that Gen-Xers are, in comparison with their Baby Boomer predecessors, far more likely to adhere to their religion. In fact, Boomers are 40 to 50 percent more likely than Gen-Xers to "disaffiliate" from their faith.

... more about:
»Gen-X »Gen-Xers »Schwadel »Social Impacts

As Generation X continues to grow older, this loyalty may translate into a more stable nation in terms of its religiosity, he said.

Schwadel examined General Social Survey responses from more than 37,000 Americans from 1973 to 2006. Using age, period and cohort models, the research zoomed in on two aspects of U.S. religious behavior through the decades:

Non-affiliation, which is the total percentage of Americans not involved with any particular religion; and

Disaffiliation, which measures those who had a religious affiliation while they were adolescents but then had no affiliation at the time they were surveyed.

"The proportion of Americans with no religious affiliation doubled in the 1990s and has continued to rise in the 21st century," Schwadel said. "With the decline in religious disaffiliation among post-Boomer cohorts, it is possible that this growth in non-affiliation may soon level off."

Though Generation X's religious adherents are relatively durable, the generation as a whole is still more likely than previous ones to be raised with no religious preference, according to the research. Religious non-affiliation in the United States grew from between 6 percent and 8 percent in the 1970s and 1980s to nearly 16 percent by 2006.

Like previous researchers, Schwadel attributes this to the so-called "1960s effect" -- Americans who were children and young adults in the 1960s were disproportionately likely to disaffiliate with religion compared with previous generations. Consequently, many Boomers raised their Gen-X children in a non-religious environment.

Schwadel's research, however, shows that Gen-Xers are behaving differently than their parents. Although Gen-Xers are relatively likely to be raised with no religious affiliation, those who are raised with a religious affiliation are considerably less likely than their parents to separate from religion.

So why are religious members of Gen-X so much less likely to leave religion? For one, Schwadel said, the American religious scene is more dynamic and textured than it was when Baby Boomers were coming of age in the '60s and '70s, which has left the younger generation more choices. If they aren't happy with a particular religion, they can more easily find a substitute instead of falling away entirely.

"Social scientists have noted that what we call the 'religious marketplace' has greatly expanded in recent decades," Schwadel said. "Historically, it was thought that this religious pluralism was detrimental to the vitality of American religion. While many still hold this view, others suggest that more choices lead to greater religious affiliation and commitment."

The long-term impact of the decline in disaffiliation among post-Boomers remains to be seen, he said.

"While this trend is good news for those who worry about declining religious adherence, the Boomers' enmity toward organized religion is still evident in the relatively large proportion of their children and grandchildren who are raised with no religious affiliation," Schwadel said.

Philip Schwadel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unl.edu

Further reports about: Gen-X Gen-Xers Schwadel Social Impacts

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>