Religious Orientation: The Role of College Environment and Classification

By Kneipp, Lee B.; Kelly, Kathryn E. et al. | College Student Journal, March 2011 | Go to article overview

Religious Orientation: The Role of College Environment and Classification


Kneipp, Lee B., Kelly, Kathryn E., Dubois, Cheryl, College Student Journal


This study examined the influence of college environment and classification on religious orientation. The current study compared private, religious versus public, nonreligious college students to determine if there was a difference over time and environment in religious orientation, as measured by the Religious Orientation Scale. The results indicated that there was a significant effect of environment on the intrinsic religious orientation score. No significant difference was found between classifications of students on the intrinsic religious orientation score. The interaction of classification and environment did not have a significant effect on the intrinsic religious orientation score. The results and directions for future research are discussed.

The college years are a time of transition that brings new experience and freedoms to students, which can make choosing a college a major decision. There are many variables to consider such as financial, geographic location, and availability when selecting a college to attend.

It may also be a time of religious development or a time when religion diminishes. Given that the majority of individuals living in the United States report that religion is important and considered to be valued as part of their normal decision making process (Gallup Organization, 1995; Hoge, 1996), the question as to whether to attend a private religious college or a public nonreligious college can become an important factor to be considered when deciding which college to attend. It is the purpose of this study to examine whether the college environment plays a significant role in religious orientation. Additionally this study examined whether college classification may play a role in religious orientation. Studies have shown that the more educated a person is the less likely he or she is to be religious, which suggests that one's religiousness decreases as classification increases. Therefore students entering college should be expected to have higher religious scores, but scores may decrease as they progress through college and become less favorable toward religion.

To further delineate the role of religion in an individual's life, Allport and Ross (1967) developed the idea of intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientation. Intrinsic religious orientation is defined as an internal construct that goes beyond economic or social needs. This is similar to the definition of spirituality; whereas, religion from the extrinsic perspective is more involved in the outward aspects of religion, such as attending church or performing religious rituals. Intrinsically oriented individuals have been found to be physically healthier than extrinsic religiously oriented individuals and had greater self-esteem and potential for personal growth than other students, as well as expressing a greater sense of inner freedom (Watson, Jones, & Morris, 2004). Intrinsically oriented college students reportedly adjust better in college, and they have been found to be more optimistic, self-confident, feel more positive about themselves, and feel as if they have a purpose in life (Genia, 1998). They also reported a sense of internal control, a belief that they are responsible for the things that happen to them (Strickland & Shaffer, 1971). They believe that their behavior has an influence on situations and they are better prepared to handle situations. A correlation between intrinsic orientation and psychosocial competence has been found and is mediated by collaborative and deferring religious coping styles (Hathaway & Pargament, 1990). Additionally, college students who reported being more intrinsically oriented toward religion also displayed less antisocial behavior such as drug and alcohol use, show higher levels of discipline, responsibility, and consistency, and a lower desire for money and less narcissism. (King, Elder, & Whitbeck, 1997; Watson et al., 2004; Wiebe & Fleck, 1980). Overall, the characteristics associated with an intrinsic religious orientation are associated with an increase in positive behaviors and a decrease in negative behaviors, which are considered desirable and for the most part; the opposite pattern demonstrated by individuals with extrinsic religious orientation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Religious Orientation: The Role of College Environment and Classification
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.