Acknowledgments: This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due to Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth). No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.
The Effect of Religious-Based Mentoring on Educational Attainment: More than Just a Spiritual High?
Version of Record online: 4 SEP 2012
© 2012 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume 51, Issue 3, pages 568–587, September 2012
How to Cite
Erickson, . L. D. and Phillips, . J. W. (2012), The Effect of Religious-Based Mentoring on Educational Attainment: More than Just a Spiritual High?. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 51: 568–587. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2012.01661.x
- Issue online: 4 SEP 2012
- Version of Record online: 4 SEP 2012
- educational attainment;
- informal mentoring
Although research has found a positive relationship between various forms of adolescent religious involvement and educational outcomes, little research has examined connections to educational attainment. Using a nationally representative sample of youth (the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health—Add Health), we examine the extent to which adolescent religiosity facilitates educational attainment (i.e., high school completion and college enrollment) and whether informal mentorships formed during adolescence with religious and nonreligious adults can help explain the link between adolescent religious involvement and educational attainment. The findings confirm that, like academic outcomes, religious youth are more likely to complete high school and enroll in college even when controlling for other individual and interpersonal factors that affect educational attainment. Furthermore, informal mentorships, particularly those with adults who have official religious positions (e.g., priest, minister, rabbi) play an important role in college enrollment.