SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

This article explores the contradictory findings that have characterized the relationship between religion and delinquency. The data are based on interviews with 600 adolescents attending public school in the Atlanta, Georgia area. A wide variety of religious and delinquency measures were used, allowing a complete examination of the relationship. The existence of a weak to moderate negative zero-order relationship was verified. Religious salience, belief in the power of personal prayer, and orthodoxy were found to be related more strongly to delinquency than the most often-used variable, church attendance. Most important, in spite of the relatively strong zero-order relationship between a number of religiosity and delinquency measures, within a multivariate context religion's contribution as an independent variable was not statistically significant. Possible explanations for this finding are discussed.