NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ867752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
The Transformative Role of Religious Experience: The Case of Short-Term Missions
Trinitapoli, Jenny; Vaisey, Stephen
Social Forces, v88 n1 p121-146 Sep 2009
Sociologists have long sought to understand the relationship between collective experiences and individual commitments. This article examines the short-term mission as an institutionalized religious experience, assessing its prevalence, predictors and impact on the religious trajectories of the youth who participate in them. Religiously devout adolescents are more likely than others to go on a short-term mission as are younger adolescents and those with very religious parents. Applying propensity score matching to a nationally representative longitudinal sample of American adolescents, we find that adolescents who go on a short-term mission between interview waves report increased religious participation and solidified religious beliefs. We use the example of this experience to emphasize the importance of considering religious experiences to develop more nuanced understandings of the way religion shapes the beliefs and behaviors of individuals. (Contains 2 figures, 4 tables and 11 notes.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A