The Spiritual but Not Religious: Who Are They, and Who Is More Likely to Be One?
Author(s)Gabhart, Elizabeth A.
Keywordsspiritual but not religious
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AbstractThe “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) are a rising social group in America in the past two decades, but social scientists and the general public know quite little about this group. Using the pooled 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 GSS data, this study examines who the SBNR are and who is more or less likely to be SBNR controlling for other variables. Descriptive analysis reveals that, compared to the general U.S. adult population, the SBNR group has slightly more males, is slightly younger, has fewer racial minorities, is better educated, and is slightly higher in social class. Additionally, more SBNR are from the Northeast and West than the general population, are slightly more urban, fewer are currently married, fewer have children, more have had homosexual sex, and more were religious Nones when they were 16 years old. Logistic regression analysis of the SBNR finds that, holding other variables constant, Americans who are more educated, live in Northeastern or Western regions, have homosexual sex, or had no religion at age 16 are more likely to be SBNR than their respective counterparts. Those who are racial minorities, live in the South or the Midwest, are currently married, or have children are less likely to be SBNR than their respective counterparts. Gender, age, social class, full-time work status, and metropolitanism of area do not make a significant difference. The implications of the findings for the research of religion and spirituality are discussed.
TypeThesis or Dissertation