Friends of Faith in Adulthood and Religious Commitment

By Samuel C. Lindsey.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study used data from the 2006 wave of the Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity (PS-ARE) to investigate the relationship between religious friends and religious commitment. This study builds on past research which found that peer influences during adolescence affect religious commitment. Findings from the current study confirm that in a nationally representative sample, peer influence positively increases the religious commitment of adults. That is, having friends that are of the same religion as oneself—and, more generally, friends of any religion—increases religious commitment among adults. The findings hold when controlling for religious affiliation, length of time in a religion, frequency of worship , frequency of religious education, frequency of visits with family, trusting relationships with family, geographic relocation, age, gender, and race/ethnicity. The results have implications for the role of social influence in religious commitment research and the role of friends across the lifespan into adulthood.

Keywords: Religion, Commitment, Religiosity, Friends, Peers, Lifespan, Adulthood

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.115-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 756.984KB).

Samuel C. Lindsey

Doctoral Student, The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV, USA

Samuel is a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has a master’s degree in social psychology. His research interests include social influence, religion, culture, and law.