From pews to profiles : the impact of Facebook on church attendance
University of Wisconsin--Whitewater
Von der Ruhr, Marc
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This study utilizes 2012 New Family Structure Survey data to inspect the observed simultaneity of rising social media usage and declining religiosity among US adults. A linear probability model explaining whether or not an individual attends church in a year is estimated by means of an instrumental variable methodology to instrument for social tendencies expected to endogenously affect whether or not an individual has a Facebook account. Results indicate that having an active Facebook account negatively impacts the probability that an individual attends church in a year, potentially highlighting socialization or spiritual substitutability between Facebook usage and religious service attendance. Such insight could prove useful for religious leaders seeking to maximize membership, attendance, and recruitment during a marked downturn in American religiosity.
Church attendance--United States
Facebook (Electronic resource)
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