Diverging paths : how race shapes religiosity in emerging adulthood.


Access rights

No access – contact librarywebmaster@baylor.edu

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Existing research has long established fundamental racial differences in religious affiliation, attendance, and salience. However, these racial differences have gone understudied among young adults, and little is known about how religiosity in the transition to adulthood is shaped by race. This dissertation explores how race, particularly Whiteness, shapes adolescent and young adult religiosity. The first chapter shows that trends in Black and White young adult religiosity has diverged over the last 50 years, with Black young adults remaining stable in attendance while White young adults decrease steadily. The second chapter shows that cultural individualism mediates the effect of race on adolescent and young adult religious salience. The third chapter shows that increased religious salience in the transition to adulthood has a positive effect on mother-child closeness, particularly among Black young adults. I argue that a robust theoretical framework for race in the transition to adulthood is essential for understanding religiosity among adolescents and young adults.