Differing Forms of Religious Participation and Their Effect on Fertility

Hoekstra, Cara
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Religion plays a major role in influencing fertility and fertility decisions. The relationship between religious attendance and fertility is well established. However, research has not looked at different forms of participation and their effect on fertility. Using Waves II-IV of the Baylor Religion Survey (BRS), this study explores the relationship between different forms of religious participation and fertility by comparing doctrine-related participation--Bible study or Sunday school--and social participation--fellowships or potlucks--and their effect on the number of children. Evidence suggests that doctrine-related participation affects fertility more than religious social participation. Doctrine-related participation also accounts for part of the effect of religious attendance while social participation does not. This suggests that the influence of reference groups within religious participation is more than social interaction but relates to the transmission and enforcement of doctrine.

Sociology., Religion., Fertility., Marriage and Family.