Testing the Attending Gap in a Conservative Church

Marler, Penny Long and C. Kirk Hadaway. "Testing the Attending Gap in a Conservative Church," Sociology of Religion, Summer 1999: 175-186.

In their article, "Testing the Attending Gap," Penny Long Marler and C. Kirk Hadaway research the overreporting of attendace at a large evangelical church. Hadaway and Marler provide a thorough examination of the connection between self-reported church attendance and actual, observed attendance. Marler and Hadaway conclude that overreporting was found for worship attendance even when the attendance rate was adjusted by removing non-worship events. More importantly, by comparing poll responses to attendance records kept by the church, Marler and Hadaway determined both the rate of Sunday school attendance overreporting and the rate at which adult members misreported their attendance. Interestingly, Hadaway and Marler confirm that most of the individuals who said they attended Sunday school, but who in fact did not, were active church members who claim to attend church every week.

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Samford University