Finding Your Own Faith: A Multi-Method Study of the Dynamic Religiosity of College Students

Lampman, Cole [Browse]
Senior thesis
86 pages


Starr, Paul E. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
The goal of this study is to explore what factors affect the expression and belief of the Christian faith among college students during the course of their college career and to examine how they view themselves during these changes. I conduct a quantitative analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF) to test for significant change over time among one sample of undergraduates at elite universities. In addition, a sample of the General Social Survey is analyzed to supplement longitudinal data. A narrative analysis is also conducted by using twelve in-depth interviews with undergraduate students about their transition into college and faith life prior to matriculation. This research revealed that, for the students who participated in the NLSF, there is no singular factor that can significantly change religiosity over the course of a college career. Furthermore, narratives in this study point to the context of influence on religiosity and religious orientation being just as important as the influence itself.

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