The relationship between the constructs of religiousness and prejudice: A structural equation model analysis

Gary K. Leak, Laura L. Finken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Research examining the connection between religiousness and prejudice has used scales exclusively as proxies for the underlying constructs. Scholars in the psychology of religion, however, are ultimately concerned about the nature of religious constructs and their relationships with other variables, and the use of scales provides only indirect information concerning these constructs. To overcome this limitation, structural equation modeling (SEM) allows researchers to gather information about the relationship among constructs directly. The present study used SEM to examine the relationship between religion and prejudice using four of the most important and heavily researched constructs in the psychology of religion: religious commitment, orthodoxy, fundamentalism, and openness, as well as their relationships with three types of prejudice: racial, sexual orientation, and religious. The strongest results revealed that religious commitment, orthodoxy, and fundamentalism were linked positively with sexual orientation prejudice, whereas religious openness was linked negatively with that type of prejudice. Other religiousness-prejudice relationships were weaker and also more complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-62
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Psychology(all)

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