Single young adult attitudes toward Protestant churches and church attendance: A descriptive-correlation study
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SubjectAttitude (Psychology) -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
Attitude change -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
Church work with single people
Church work with young adults
Protestant churches -- United States
Generation X -- Religious life
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This dissertation is a descriptive and correlational study whose purpose is to understand single young adults by investigating their attitudes toward Protestant churches, and examining relationships between those attitudes and the church status and age variables. A portrait of the increasing percentage of single young adults in the United States population is introduced in the first chapter, laying the ground work for the importance of conducting research on subjective factors related to their church status. The specific religious activity of church attendance is important in the study, necessitating a theological foundation regarding the nature, functions, and practices of churches. A foundation is developed for measurement of the church status variable and attitudes. Perspectives on the single young adult population along with pertinent developmental theories that may serve to elucidate the behavior of this age group are included in the literature review. The research instruments included a questionnaire with a battery of 41 attitude statements formulated from an informal content analysis of contemporary literature related to young adults or single adults and churches. A qualitative phase consisted of semi-structured interviews, with a purposive snowball sample of 31 individuals. Descriptive and correlational findings concluded that the small sample was not sufficient to determine trends among a national population. The study was, however, helpful in testing a broader array of attitude statements than contained in previous studies. Both positive and negative attitudes were found among churched and unchurched participants. Response anomalies, in which the attitude response that churches would hope to see were not the highest percentage of responses, were analyzed in the findings. The sample did not include a high percentage of unchurched individuals, leaving questions regarding the attitudes of unchurched single young adults still largely unanswered. Very few correlations were found between frequently occurring attitudes and the age cohorts studied Implications for church ministry, including the discovery and investigation of a broad spectrum of attitudes was the focus.
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