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The covariation of religion and politics during the transition to young adulthood: Challenging global identity assumptions

Examined the relationship between religion and politics in terms of identity and beliefs, as well as the relations among identity and beliefs, during the transition to young adulthood. Data were obtained from 209 college students using self-administered questionnaires. Constructs included religious and political identity diffusion, foreclosure, moratorium and achievement, as well as intrinsic religiosity, church/temple importance, Christian orthodoxy, political involvement, and faith in government. Correlational analyses revealed that the only significant relations between religion and politics was for identity foreclosure and moratorium, and that none of the religious beliefs were significantly correlated with political beliefs. Religious diffusion proved to be the most powerful (negative) predictor of religious beliefs; similarly, political diffusion was the most powerful (negative) predictor of political involvement. Religious achievement was associated with higher levels of intrinsic religiosity. Results provide additional validity for the construct of identity diffusion. At the same time, the inconsistent and low covariation between religious and political identity suggests that focus on global identity has limited utility. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)