Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

George H. Akers

Second Advisor

John B. Youngberg

Third Advisor

Raoul Dederen


Problem. This study investigated whether the express purpose of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) education, (the transmission of the SDA religious heritage) is being fulfilled. It was based on the relationship between five dimensions of religiosity (the criterion variables), the amount of exposure to SDA education, and other selected variables such as age, sex, scholastic achievement, home religious practices, religious affiliation and marital status of the subjects' parents (the predictors). Eleven hypotheses were tested. The first five were concerned with the relationship between the combination of the dimension and the combination of the predictors; the sixth with the relationship between the combination of the dimensions and the combination of predictors; and the last five with the discriminant function of the combination of the dimensions among students (1) currently attending SDA or non-SDA school, (2) exposed to different levels of SDA education, (3)(4) exposed to different amounts of SDA boarding-school education, and (5) exposed to different amounts of SDA education.

Method. The population constituted SDA secondary students chosen from 103 churches and two SDA academies in the Corridor Greater Sao Paulo - Campinas. Sub-sample A involved all students from twenty-five randomly selected churches; sub-sample B comprised 282 randomly selected students from the academies. Responses from 481 subjects were analyzed. Each student responded to a questionnaire containing eighty-eight items measuring five religiosity dimensions (intellectual, ritualistic, ideological, experiential, and consequential) based on Glock's theoretical framework. Twenty-one items measured the predictor variables. The data were collected in a manner guaranteeing complete anonymity to the respondents. The major statistical methods used for the analysis were (1) product-moment correlation and (2) factor analysis (for verification of interdependence and dimensionality of the theorized dimensions); (3) multiple-regression analysis, (4) canonical correlation analysis, and (5) discriminant-function analysis (for testing the hypotheses).

Results. The five theoretical dimensions were more independent than dependent of each other. Additionally, most of the items intended to measure each dimension loaded on a corresponding factor. Because several items loaded on more than one factor, Factor Scores were used for testing the hypotheses. The correlation between the combination of the predictors and each of the religiosity dimensions were significant beyond the .05 level. "Amount of exposure to SDA education" was positively correlated with the intellectual and to a lesser extent with the ideological, but negatively with the consequential dimension. Three significant canonical correlations between the religiosity dimensions and the independent variables resulted. "Amount of SDA education" was among the primary variables of all canonical functions. Longer exposure indicated higher scores on the intellectual, experiential, and ideological but lower on the ritualistic and consequential. Attendance to one of the academies indicated tendency for higher scores on the ritualistic, intellectual, and experiential. Exposure to higher levels of SDA education indicated higher scores on the intellectual. In all, longer exposure to SDA boarding-school education indicated a tendency for higher scores on all religiosity dimensions except the ideological. Among students who had attended at least five years at an SDA school, longer exposure to SDA boarding-school education indicated a tendency for higher scores on the consequential, experiential, and intellectual. Finally, longer exposure to SDA parochial education indicated higher scores on the intellectual and ritualistic, but lower on the consequential dimension.

Conclusion. The longer students are exposed to parochial education the more they tend to know religious facts and appreciate religious beliefs, but the less they tend to translate it into their devotional life and life-style. Higher scores on the intellectual also tend to be associated with higher levels of parochial education. Longer exposure to boarding-school education is associated with higher scores on most of the dimensions of religiosity. Among school-related variables, exposure to boarding-school education seems to be the best predictor of religiosity in general

Subject Area

Church work with youth--Brazil--Seventh-day Adventists.


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