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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
Unformatted Document Text:  Religion, Communication, and Social Capital --16-- In order to be able to test the direct and indirect pathways outlined in our research questions, we tested a structural model against our data. A structural model shows relationships among variables that are not only controlled for all other variables in the model but also for all relationships among independent and dependent variables. In the context of this study, we can examine not only the direct impact of church-based factors and biblical interpretation, but also the indirect effects of these associational and cognitive aspects of religion through intermediary variables including interpersonal and mass communication, political efficacy, and political knowledge. The covarance matrices that our analyses are based on were prepared using PRELIS. In other words, they take the unique level of measurement of each variable into account. To test the relationships among independent and dependent variables we employed structural modeling techniques using LISREL. In contrast to other multivariate techniques, structural equation modeling allows for the simultaneous estimation of all parameters in a model. Any given coefficient therefore represents the relationship between two variables controlling for all other relationships and variables in the model. Large parts of our original model were based on previous theorizing and research. In this paper, we follow a “model generating” approach (Jöreskog and Sörbom, 1996) where we develop an initial model based on prior theorizing and test the theorized relationships against the data. Our modeling of religion’s relationship to the communication processes that shape indicators of social capital directly replicate previous work in this area specific to how the social structural effects of religion link to civic engagement (Authors, 2001; Authors, 2002), and the inter-relationships between public affairs media use, political knowledge, political efficacy, and both forms of trust (McLeod, Scheufele, Moy, 1999; Moy and Scheufele, 1999). The model

Authors: Nisbet, Matthew., Moy, Patricia. and Scheufele, Dietram.
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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
--16--
In order to be able to test the direct and indirect pathways outlined in our research
questions, we tested a structural model against our data. A structural model shows relationships
among variables that are not only controlled for all other variables in the model but also for all
relationships among independent and dependent variables. In the context of this study, we can
examine not only the direct impact of church-based factors and biblical interpretation, but also
the indirect effects of these associational and cognitive aspects of religion through intermediary
variables including interpersonal and mass communication, political efficacy, and political
knowledge.
The covarance matrices that our analyses are based on were prepared using PRELIS. In
other words, they take the unique level of measurement of each variable into account. To test the
relationships among independent and dependent variables we employed structural modeling
techniques using LISREL. In contrast to other multivariate techniques, structural equation
modeling allows for the simultaneous estimation of all parameters in a model. Any given
coefficient therefore represents the relationship between two variables controlling for all other
relationships and variables in the model.
Large parts of our original model were based on previous theorizing and research. In this
paper, we follow a “model generating” approach (Jöreskog and Sörbom, 1996) where we
develop an initial model based on prior theorizing and test the theorized relationships against the
data. Our modeling of religion’s relationship to the communication processes that shape
indicators of social capital directly replicate previous work in this area specific to how the social
structural effects of religion link to civic engagement (Authors, 2001; Authors, 2002), and the
inter-relationships between public affairs media use, political knowledge, political efficacy, and
both forms of trust (McLeod, Scheufele, Moy, 1999; Moy and Scheufele, 1999). The model


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