religiosity, academic achievement, adolescence, family


In this article, we examine the association between religiosity and academic achievement among adolescents. Recent research demonstrates a positive association between religiosity and academic success. However, some studies show that this association is due to family and community factors; for example, variation in levels of family capital among religious affiliates could explain it. Yet whether religious factors affect academic achievement among adolescents might also be due to the concordance or discordance of religiosity between parents and their children. Using data for two years from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the associationbetween adolescents‘ religiosity, parents‘ religiosity, and academic achievement in light of the effects of family and community capital. The results indicate that the association betweenadolescents‘ religiosity and academic achievement is largely due to family social capital, but theassociation between academic achievement and religious homogamy between parents and adoles- cents is largely independent of family and community social capital. In particular, the highest achievement is predicted when parents and adolescents report similar levels of religiosity; the lowest achievement is predicted when parents report high religiosity and adolescents report low religiosity.

Original Publication Citation

McKune, Benjamin A., and John P. Hoffmann. 2009. “Religion and Academic Achievement among Adolescents.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 5 (article 10).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor