The Effects of Religion on Delinquency: Literature Review Using Meta-Analysis

Jeong Hwan Kim, Florida State University

Since Hirschi and Stark (1969) published their finding that "religious participation has no effects on delinquency", many researchers have been working on the field to verify the relationship between religion and delinquency. Some scholars said that they have negative relationship, but some reacted that the relationship is spurious or reciprocal, etc. A lack of consensus still exists in regard to the effects of religion on delinquency. I am going to analyze 15 studies (mostly recent ones) to find some consistent patterns of the relationship between religion and delinquency. My main purposes are to identify (1) whether the pattern of findings is different for the technically stronger studies than for the weaker ones, and (2) whether the findings are more likely to be supportive in some circumstances than in others (e.g. more supportive for some types of delinquency than others, etc.)

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Updated 05/20/2006