Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Burchard, Waldo W.||More, Douglas M.||Seymour, Sam Frederick, 1922-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology and Anthropology


College students; Belief and doubt


A comparison of religious beliefs of college women was made at a state university and a denominational college in the Midwest. The 1965 Burchard "College Education and Religious Behavior Questionnaire" was administered to 538 college freshman, sophomore, and junior women. Religiosity, defined as the acceptance of traditional religious beliefs, was expected to be related to the religious and school affiliations of the students. Further, it was anticipated that the related factors of religion, educational level, and occupation of the parents would influence the willingness of the student to accept these traditional religious beliefs. As it was suggested in the literature, it was hypothesized that students at the junior level would be less willing to accept these traditional religious beliefs than either freshmen or sophomores. The testing of this hypothesis further supported the findings of previous researchers. It was found that Catholic women in a Catholic college are more tolerant of these religious beliefs than are both the Catholic and non-Catholic women attending a university. The educational level of the parents was inversely related to religiosity. The higher the educational level of the parents the less tolerant were the students in their responses. The difference in religiosity due to the religion of the parents was not significant. There was, however, an inverse relationship between religiosity and the occupation of the father. A low occupational level was associated with a high level of acceptance of the religious statements. No significant differences were due to specific occupational groupings. Nor did the sample yield any significant differences between groups on the basis of mothers' occupation when considered as housewife, part-time employee and full-time employee. It was concluded that the experience of college does result in some liberalization of religious beliefs but that, overall, the effect is small. The importance of background factors is indicated as an influence on the results of the study.


Includes bibliographical references.


118 pages




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