The varieties of religious development in adulthood: A longitudinal investigation of religion and rational choice

Michael E. McCullough, Sharon L. Brion, Craig K. Enders, Andrea R. Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors used growth mixture models to study religious development during adulthood (ages 27-80) in a sample of individuals who were identified during childhood as intellectually gifted. The authors identified 3 discrete trajectories of religious development: (a) 40% of participants belonged to a trajectory class characterized by increases in religiousness until midlife and declines in later adulthood; (b) 41% of participants belonged to a trajectory class characterized by very low religiousness in early adulthood and age-related decline; and (c) 19% of participants belonged to a trajectory class characterized by high religiousness in early adulthood and age-related increases. Gender, strength of religious upbringing, number of children, marrying, and agreeableness predicted membership in the trajectory classes. Results were largely consistent with the rational choice theory of religious involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

Keywords

  • Development
  • Growth mixture models
  • Longitudinal
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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