Behavior Genetics

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 201–210 | Cite as

The Etiology of Stability and Change in Religious Values and Religious Attendance

  • Tanya M. M. ButtonEmail author
  • Michael C. Stallings
  • Soo Hyun Rhee
  • Robin P. Corley
  • John K. Hewitt


Studies have demonstrated little to no heritability for adolescent religiosity but moderate genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental influences on adult religiosity. Only one longitudinal study of religiosity in female twins has been conducted (Koenig et al., Dev Psychol 44:532–543, 2008), and reported that persistence from mid to late adolescence is due to shared environmental factors, but persistence from late adolescence to early adulthood was due to genetic and shared environmental factors. We examined the etiology of stability and change in religious values and religious attendance in males and females during adolescence and early adulthood. The heritability of both religious values and religious attendance increased from adolescence to early adulthood, although the increase was greater for religious attendance. Both genetic and shared environmental influences contributed to the stability of religious values and religious attendance across adolescence and young adulthood. Change in religious values was due to both genetic and nonshared environmental influences specific to early adulthood, whereas change in religious attendance was due in similar proportions to genetic, shared environmental, and non-shared environmental influences.


Religious values Religious attendance Heritability Longitudinal Twins 



This work was funded by NIDA grant DA-011015 and NICHD HD-010333. T.M.M. Button was supported by NIAAA grant 2 T32 AA007464-31.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya M. M. Button
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael C. Stallings
    • 1
    • 2
  • Soo Hyun Rhee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robin P. Corley
    • 1
  • John K. Hewitt
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Behavioral GeneticsUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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