Sources of Social Support: Congregational Context and Social and Private Involvement in Religion

Open Access
Author:
McClure, Jennifer Marie
Graduate Program:
Sociology
Degree:
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 22, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Roger Kent Finke, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Social support
  • religion
  • congregation
Abstract:
Although studies have examined how social involvement in religion influences the provision and receipt of social support, few have analyzed the effects of congregational context or private involvement in religion on providing social support. Using data from the 2008-2009 U.S. Congregational Life Survey, a national survey representative of American congregations, multilevel models with fixed effects were used to examine the effects of congregational context and social and private involvement in religion on providing social support. Among attenders of religious congregations, key findings indicate that congregational context (size and theology) does not contribute to predicting the provision of social support but that private involvement in religion does associate with providing social support and contribute to predicting the provision of social support. The results also affirm that social involvement in religion influences the provision of support among attenders of religious congregations. For attenders of religious congregations, both social and private involvement in religion matter for understanding how religion relates to providing social support.