Traditional Churches and White Women’s Pathways Through Early Adulthood Amidst the Second Demographic Transition in the U.S.: Demographic Behavior and Religious Influence.

Emory Morrison, Mississippi State University

I apply a latent life path model which simultaneously estimates latent role configurations and latent life course pathways in order to test the effect of traditional/conservative (T/C) religion on pathways into adulthood. I measure traditional conservative religion at two levels -- an individual level based on self-reports of being raised in a particular church, and at an ecological level based on the county-level prevalance of non-black traditional/conservative churches. I perform this analysis for white women from the NLSY79 from the 1960 to 1964 cohorts. I observe these women from age 18 to 35. I find that at both levels T/C religion is positively associated with pathways typical during the baby boom period (early role transtions, and traditional role configurations). However, relationships at the individual level attenuate much of the macro-level association, suggesting a compositional effect. I interpret findings in light of second demographic transition theory.

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Presented in Poster Session 5