Family size and religiosity in adolescence and emerging adulthood
McClendon, David Michael
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Religion’s influence on fertility behavior has long been discussed. This paper examines the consequences of family size for the intergenerational transmission of religiosity. Using the first and third waves of the National Study of Youth and Religion, I find that family size is a positive predictor of religious salience and service attendance, particularly in emerging adulthood. While parents remain strong influences on both family size and their children’s religiosity, family size appears to provide additional support to religious commitments in emerging adulthood by fostering a more conservative orientation towards family formation. This study adds nuance to our understanding of the dynamics of religiosity in emerging adulthood and provides new evidence of the close connection between religion, family, and fertility.
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