Religiosity and perceived future ascetic deviance and delinquency among Mormon adolescents: Testing the "this-worldly" supernatural sanctions thesis
Previous religiosity-delinquency research primarily explores hellfire belief and aspects of religious social bonding. Both hellfire belief and religious social bonding have been hypothesized to reduce delinquency. Borrowing from classical deterrence theory, there are strong theoretical reasons for believing that an additional dimension of religiosity - namely, belief in "this-worldly" supernatural sanctions (i.e., belief that God rewards and punishes in this life) - may also be inversely related to adolescent delinquency. This dimension of religiosity has not been explored in past empirical research. This article addresses this lack by specifically testing whether belief in this-worldly supernatural sanctions is related to subjectively perceived future ascetic deviance and delinquency among a sample of 1,393 adolescent members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., the Mormons). Logistic regression results indicate that, along with religious social bonding, belief in this-worldly supernatural sanctions has an independent effect on perceived future ascetic deviance (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use) and perceived future delinquency (e.g., property and personal offenses) when controlling for relevant demographic and theoretical variables.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Harris, Mark A., "Religiosity and perceived future ascetic deviance and delinquency among Mormon adolescents: Testing the "this-worldly" supernatural sanctions thesis" (2003). Faculty Publications. 3350.