Religion and Deviance at Four American Universities

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Other > Summary


This dataset contains measures on religious belief and practice, Christian fundamentalist beliefs, religious context, and deviant behavior from students at four American universities. Two of these universities are public state schools; two are private and have religious affiliations. A total of 1,753 respondents were surveyed regarding their religious beliefs and practices, tattoos, piercings, and engagement in (or abstinence from) sexual intercourse, binge drinking, and marijuana use.

Data File
Cases: 1,753
Variables: 120
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: 2005-2006
Original Survey (Instrument)
Four Schools Original Questionnaire
Collection Procedures
Data for this study were gathered from four separate convenience samples of undergraduates, one each from four different U.S. universities. Two of these are state-supported public schools. Two are private and constituted as part of a specific religious tradition, although these traditions differ from one another. Each public school is geographically proximal to one of the religious schools. We sought regional and cultural symmetry in our recruitment of respondents.

Data collection began in fall 2005 and was completed a year later. Southwest State is a public university of about 28,000 undergraduates. Midwest State is also a public university with an undergraduate enrollment of about 30,000. Midwest Catholic is located in geographical proximity to Midwest State and has about 8,500 undergraduates. About 80 percent of the students at Midwest Catholic self-identify as Roman Catholics. Southern Baptist is located in geographical proximity to Southwest State and has an undergraduate enrollment of about 14,000. About 40 percent of the students at Southern Baptist self-identify as Baptist, but nearly 60 percent self-identify with a Conservative Protestant religious tradition. Seventy-eight percent of all respondents were aged 18-20; 60 percent were female; 79 percent were Euro-American.
Sampling Procedures
Respondents were recruited from groups of undergraduate students enrolled in lower-level sociology classes. After obtaining informed and signed consent, a total of 1,753 individual surveys were returned to us out of a total class enrollment of 2,832. Our response rate was 62 percent. Numbers of respondents at each school were: Southwest State, 523; Midwest State, 497; Midwest Catholic, 311; Southern Baptist, 422.
Principal Investigators
Jerome R. Koch
Alden E. Roberts
Myrna L. Armstrong
Donna C. Owen