Mapping America 76: I Am Proud of the Type of Work I Do by Religious Attendance

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"I Am Proud of the Type of Work I Do" by Religious Attendance

Adults who attend religious services at least monthly are the most likely to be proud of the type of work they do.

Description: According to the General Social Surveys (GSS), 83.8 percent of adults who worship between one and three times a month take the greatest pride in the type of work they do, compared to 81.8 percent of those who worship at least weekly, 76.6 percent of those who attend religious services less than once a month, and 66.7 percent of those who never attend religious services.[1]

Related Insights from Other Studies

Several other studies corroborate the direction of these findings. Louis Levy-Garboua of the University of Paris and Claude Montmarquette of the University of Montreal reported that religion has a positive influence on job satisfaction among Canadian workers.[2]

In a study of nurse administrators, Vickie Lee of Troy State University and Melinda Henderson of Florida State University found that "highly committed respondents reported strong religiosity."[3]

Interpretative Comment

The typical pattern regarding the impact of religious observance on positive outcomes is that those who worship most frequently do best. In this case, those in the second group (one to three times a month) do better, though by only two percentage points, than those who worship weekly or more. It is worth looking at the third chart in this series, religious attendance and marriage combined, to note who takes most pride in their work.

As these data show, adults who worship at least monthly are more likely to be proud of the type of work they do.

Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D. & Althea Nagai, Ph.D.

Dr. Fagan is senior fellow and director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) at Family Research Council. Dr. Nagai is a visiting fellow at Family Research Council.

[1] This chart draws on data collected by the General Social Surveys, 1972-2006. From 1972 to 1993, the sample size averaged 1,500 each year. No GSS was conducted in 1979, 1981, or 1992. Since 1994, the GSS has been conducted only in even-numbered years and uses two samples per GSS that total approximately 3,000. In 2006, a third sample was added for a total sample size of 4,510.

[2] Louis Levy-Garboua and Claude Montmarquette, "Reported Job Satisfaction: What Does It Mean?" Journal of Socio-Economics 33 (2004): 135-51.

[3] Vickie Lee and Melinda Henderson, "Occupational Stress and Organizational Commitment in Nurse Administrators," The Journal of Nursing Administration 26 (1996): 21-28.

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