Levensloop en kerkverlating. Een nieuwe en overkoepelende verklaring voor enkele empirische regelmatigheden


  • Graaf,Nan Dirk de
  • Need,Ariana
  • Ultee,Wout




Research shows that especially the young and better-educated are more likely to leave the church. The process of apostasy also differs substantially between denominations. Using a life history perspective we examine the social mechanisms that might explain these three empirical regularities. Using a general theory, incorporating modernization and integration theory, we predict that people leave the church either for cognitive, social or moral reasons and that these effects interact. We test these hypotheses with the 1998 Family Survey of the Dutch Population. The results show that social integration indicators explain a large part of the denominational differences. Denominational differences no longer exist, whereas in the past Catholics and liberal Protestants were more likely to leave their church compared to orthodox Protestants. The results show furthermore that being raised in a financially deprived environment, possession of technical toys, general reading and left-wing preferences of the parents increase the risk of leaving the church in later life. Social context effects suggest that an increasingly educated population and having many non-religious people in one's environment, rather than being surrounded by few people of the same denomination, make it more likely for individuals to leave their church. Interaction effects show that after people have left the parental home (1) church attendance of the parents no longer decreases the risk of leaving the church; (2) Catholics have a lower chance of leaving the church than orthodox and liberal Protestants; (3) the impact of education becomes stronger. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Mens en Maatschappij is the property of Amsterdam University Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Biografieën auteurs

Graaf,Nan Dirk de