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‘Generic’ Versus ‘Mature’ Measures of Christian Religiosity: Comparing two Quantitative Measures of Religiosity
Erin P. O’CONNELL Contact / Kontakt / Kapcsolat, Roger P. ABBOTT & Robert S. WHITE
EJMH Vol 14 Issue 1 (2019) 21-40; https://doi.org/10.5708/EJMH.14.2019.1.2
Received: 3 July 2018; accepted: 18 March 2019; online date: 3 June 2019
Section: Research Papers
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Corresponding author:
Dr. Erin P. O’CONNELL
The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion
Woolf Building
Madingley Road
Cambridge, CB3 0UB
United Kingdom
erin.oconnell@uwaterloo.ca

ABSTRACT

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A wide range of survey-based tools has been developed to measure religiosity, although the most commonly applied approaches tend to focus on ‘generic’ interpretations of religiosity for practical and generalising reasons. However, these generic approaches have not always been satisfactory due to the lack of variation in responses and the potential for poor correlation between the generic religiosity measure and the overall impact of faith in respondents’ lives, particularly in less secular contexts. This led us to explore whether there is a difference between measuring religiosity using a ‘generic’ versus a ‘mature’ approach using 227 Christian respondents on Bantayan Island, the Philippines. The findings suggest that overall religiosity among our respondents was high for both measures, that the measures are strongly correlated, and that there was no statistically significant difference between the scores for each scale; however, there was evidence to suggest that the two scales are examining different dimensions of religiosity. When correlating the two religiosity scores to other scales on our survey, there was no statistically significant difference among the correlations when using the mature or generic measure of religiosity. This has important implications for mental health and care research methodologies, for which we highlight the importance of using contextually appropriate measures that incorporate various dimensions of religiosity.

KEYWORDS

religiosity, religiosity scale, mature religiosity, generic religiosity, measuring religiosity,
comparing religiosity measures