, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 277-293

Religion and high-school graduation: a comparative analysis of patterns for white and black young women

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Abstract

This paper examines how two dimensions of childhood religion—affiliation and participation—are related to the probability of graduating from high school. Hypotheses derived from a human capital model are tested with data on non-Hispanic white and black women from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. The empirical findings are generally consistent with the hypotheses, revealing sizeable differentials in the likelihood of obtaining a high-school diploma by affiliation and participation. The results suggest that the convergence of Catholics to the mainline Protestant pattern for non-Hispanic whites found here, and supported by many previous studies, has not taken place in the black population. In other respects, the relationships between religion and high-school graduation are similar for the two racial groups.