A Study of Religious Attitudes and Practices of Young Adult Catholics

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Thu, 08/01/1996
End Date: 
Mon, 10/30/2000

Dean Hoge and William Dinges on behalf of The Catholic University of America researched the religious characteristics of young American lay Catholics between the ages of 20 and 39. Their study targeted Catholics who have been confirmed in their faith by a confirmation ceremony in their parish church. They attempted to asses how, during ensuing years, these young adult Catholics evaluate their religious education, their overall Catholic identity, their spiritual needs, how Catholic institutions meet those needs, and how they themselves construct their Catholic and spiritual identity. Hoge and Dinges held 800 telephone converstions with young Catholics and followed up with in-depth interviews of at least an hour and a half with 80. Then they made 12 focus groups to help the researchers test and validate their understanding of the attitudes and feelings of the interviews. They published their findings in a book, Young Adult Catholics: Religion in a Culture of Choice.