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Why Younger Catholics Seem More Committed: Survivorship Bias and/or “Creative Minority” Effects among British Catholics

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-10, 14:43 authored by Ben Clements, Stephen Bullivant

The normative value of, and the extent of popular engagement with, different forms of commitment differ across Christian religious traditions, but studies often show women and older people exhibiting greater religiosity in their behavior and belief. Using a multidimensional approach to religious commitment, this study uses a new survey to provide an in-depth assessment of Catholics in Britain. It finds that younger cohorts show greater involvement in some aspects of commitment and that there is very limited evidence for gender differences. Family religious socialization plays a key role in patterns of commitment relative to the weak impact of schooling. Two potential explanations for this counterintuitively positive “youth effect” seen among British Catholics are offered: “survivor bias” and a “creative minority” effect. The study provides an important contribution to understanding how Catholics in Britain engage with their faith and mediate processes of secularization.

Funding

UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (grant number:AH/S003258/1

History

Author affiliation

School of History, Politics and International Relations

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Volume

61

Issue

2

Pagination

450-475

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0021-8294

Acceptance date

2022-02-16

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2023-08-10

Language

en

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