Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Religious Groups, Psychosocial Covariates of
Michael E. Nielsen & Brandon Randolph-Seng
The psychosocial covariates of religious groups create diverse organizational goals and outcomes for their members. Religious groups range from formal to informal, with new religious movements marking the border between these two poles. Religious groups can facilitate socialization and the perpetuation of societal norms, and assist parents with child-rearing tasks. They accomplish these goals through religious schools, youth programs, social hours, and similar organizations formed for adults. Religious groups affect individuals' attitudes regarding social and moral issues, happiness, and life satisfaction, and generate an increased sense of meaning and control over life events. Understanding the influence of religious groups is an important part of understanding the link between the development of individual attitudes and people's integration into society. Religious groups appear to show tremendous diversity in the specific beliefs they espouse. Nevertheless, when one examines the effects of religious groups on individuals and on society, important similarities emerge among those ...