Project Documents

Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Randal Wisbey

Second Advisor

Roger L. Dudley

Third Advisor

V. Bailey Gillespie

Abstract

Problem. Attrition of post-academy adolescents and young adults from Seventh-day Adventist churches has received considerable attention in denominational publications. This present study attempts to determine the congregational attachment or bonding factors for Adventist young people.

Method. Two questionnaires were used. The Institute of Church Ministry's (ICM) longitudinal study sample and the Rio Lindo Adventist Academy senior Bible class employed the Adventist Youth Survey 7 instrument, which included questions modified from Parker, Tupling, and Brown's Parental Bonding INstrument (PBI), and furnished responses for bonding issues. A second instrument, the Valuegenesis (Short Form), provided additional data from the student body, grades 9 through 12, at Rio Lindo Adventist Academy.

These two instruments provided data from a total of 926 young people affiliated with the Adventist church.

Results. The findings revealed that bonding factors for Adventist young people in their relationship to the church can be determined. A Church Bonding Scale was created, which had a reliability alpha of .81 with item-scale correlations ranging from .45 to .72. Possible scores on the Church Bonding Scale ranged from 6 to 28. Actual scores ranged from 10 to 28. The mean was 20.48.

Conclusions. The Church Bonding Scale was correlated with twenty-nine interpersonal experiences these young people had with their congregation in order to determine which of these predicted bonding to the church. All but one correlation were significant at the p < .001 level. Adult church members' relationships with youth can in fact promote or inhibit bonding between young people and the church.

Subject Area

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

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