Studies examining the protective effect of religiosity on crime are frequently rooted in the assumption that the impact of religiosity is invariant across sociodemographic differences. This study systematically examines the validity of this assumption across gender and the developmental periods of adolescence and young adulthood. Using a nationally representative sample of adolescents (n = 90,202) and young adults (n = 93,710), negative binomial regression (NBR) is employed to examine the associations between religiosity and criminal behaviors (e.g., drug selling, theft) among male and female adolescents and young adults. Results indicate that the protective relationship between religiosity and criminal behaviors such as drug selling and theft is consistent across gender as well as across the developmental periods of adolescence and young adulthood. This study provides support for the validity of the invariance hypothesis as the protective effect of religiosity on criminal behavior was consistently observed across important sociodemographic differences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine