Secularization and Religiosity: A Cross-National Study of Catholic Adolescents in Five Societies


Catholic Adolescents, secularization, cross-national, Catholicism


This study interprets data from twelve purposive samples of male and females Catholic adolescents in five societies ordered according to an a priori macro continuum of secularization. Measures of traditional religiosity according to the five dimensions schema are used to operationalize secularization at the individual level. Results tend to corroborate secularization theorizing, but with important differences, e. g., on the belief and practice dimension if compared with adult samples and the knowledge and experience dimensions if compared with the a priori continuum. Alongside cross-national variations in the degree of religiosity, a consistent ranking of the associations between pairs of dimensions suggests a similar structure with belief as the keystone within individual religiosity across societies. In light of the similar structure the weakening of traditional belief in the more modernized societies presages powerful changes in the entire configuration of traditional individual religiosity within Catholicism.

Original Publication Citation

"""Secularization and Religiosity: A Cross-National Study of Catholic Adolescents in Five Societies,"" Sociological Analysis 35 (Spring): 1-22 (with A.J. Weigert)."

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Sociological Analysis




Religious Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor