Examining Patterns of Political, Social Service, and Collaborative Involvement of Religious Congregations: A Latent Class and Transition Analysis

Nathan R. Todd, Jaclyn D. Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This investigation examines typologies of congregations based on patterns of congregational political and social service activities and collaborative partners. Based on a latent class analysis of a national random sample of 2,153 congregations, results indicated four distinct types of congregations with unique patterns of political, social service, and collaborative partnerships labeled: (a) Active, (b) Not Active, (c) Social Service Not Political, and (d) Political Not Social Service. Moreover, congregational characteristics such as religious tradition and clergy characteristics predicted membership in certain types. A latent transition analysis using an additional 262 congregations revealed distinct patterns of how congregations changed types across a nine year period. Results showed both congregational continuity (e. g., Not Active congregations remained Not Active) and change (e. g., Active congregations were likely to change type membership). This study advances congregational research by examining congregational types, what predicts certain types, and how congregations change types across time. Implications for future research and partnership with religious congregations also are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-438
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Volume51
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Latent class analysis
  • Latent transition analysis
  • Politics
  • Religious congregations
  • Social services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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