Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roger L. Dudley

Second Advisor

Jerome D. Thayer

Third Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Abstract

Problem. One of the most important concerns of parents and church leaders is alienation from religion among church-related adolescents. This research was conducted to discover relationships that might exist between alienation from religion and other selected variables.

Method. Three hundred and ninety students were selected by a stratified random method from among all students attending three church-related youth conferences. Each teenager was asked to respond to an inventory which consisted of 162 statements divided into eighteen attitude scales. One scale measured alienation from religion, while the other seventeen measured the independent variables. The major statistical method used in analyzing the data was multiple regression analysis.

Results. The alienation scores revealed that 12.8 percent of the adolescents might be considered alienated from religion in general, while 51 percent are alienated from some aspect of their religion.

Items which elicited the most alienation concerned experiences with the church, uninteresting sermons, deficient devotional life, and religious restrictions on life-style.

Correlations between the alienation-from-religion scale and the other scales were all significant except one. Therefore, all but one of the research hypotheses were supported.

Four of the five highest correlations dealt with church influences. No home influences ranked higher than tenth. Three of the scales, which were not included in Dudley's 1977 study, Media Influence, Self-Esteem, and Peer Influence, ranked third, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

Conclusions. Alienation from religion in church-related adolescents is highly correlated with the quality of their relationships with parents and other authority figures, peer groups, their own self-concepts, media influence, and the church. As the quality of these key relationships is improved, parents and church youth leaders can expect a reduction in adolescent alienation from religion.

Subject Area

Youth--Religious life, Church work with youth--Seventh-day Adventists

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