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Subjective Religiosity among African Americans: A Synthesis of Findings from Five National Samples

Journal of Black Psychology
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
  • Religious Science


Demographic correlates of subjective religiosity are examined using data from five large national probability samples (i.e., Americans Changing Lives, n = 3,617; General Social Survey, n = 26,265; Monitoring the Future, n = 16,843; National Black Election Survey, n = 1,151; and National Survey of Black Americans, n = 2,107). In analyses of data involving both Black and White respondents, race emerges as a strong and consistent predictor of various indicators of subjective religiosity with Black Americans, indicating that they had significantly higher levels of subjective religiosity than Whites. Analyses using African American respondents only indicate that subjective religious involvement varies systematically by gender, age, region, and marital status. The findings are discussed in relation to research on religious participation among African Americans and future research and theory concerning the meaning of religion within discrete subgroups of this population.

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