Age and religiosity: Evidence from a three-wave panel analysis

Amy Argue, David R. Johnson, Lynn K. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Using pooled time series with random and fixed effects regression models, we examine the effect of age, period, and family life course events on a measure of religious influence on daily life in a panel of 1,339 adults interviewed three times between 1980 and 1992. The results show a significant, non-linear increase in religiosity with age, with the greatest increase occurring between ages 18 and 30. We also found a significant decline in religiosity between 1980 and 1988, but no evidence of a period effect between 1988 and 1992. Comparison of fixed and random effects solutions found little evidence that a cohort effect accounted for the age findings. The age effect was significantly stronger for Catholics than Protestants and the lower religiosity of males was also significantly stronger for Catholics. Adding children in the range from age two to ten significantly increased religiosity, but family life course events accounted for little if any of the age effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-435
Number of pages13
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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