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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
Unformatted Document Text:  Religion, Communication, and Social Capital --18-- the strength but not the direction of the links between biblical interpretation and church attendance ( = .20); between newspaper reading and national television news viewing ( = .08); as well as the relationships between political efficacy and social trust ( = .17), political efficacy and political trust ( = .19), and social trust and political trust ( = .19). [Insert Figure 1 About Here] In order to account for possible spurious and third variable influences on the relationships among endogenous variables, our model incorporated the relevant controls of age, education, sex, income, ideology, and race. The effects of these controls are displayed in Table 1. Also controlled for as endogenous variables are the denominational affiliations of white evangelical Protestant and white mainline Protestant. These denominational effects are detailed later in the results section. [Insert Table 1 About Here] Associational Effects Our first set of research questions concerned the direct and indirect effects of religion’s associational dimension, including church attendance and church networks, on social and political trust. Our findings indicate that religion is limited in its ability to promote social capital, and that it is actually associations that occur outside of church settings, as well as the diversity of political discussion, that sponsor social and political trust. Table 2 indicates that the effects of church attendance are minimal. The main direct effect for church attendance is the promotion of church-based political discussions. These church-based networks, however, are negatively related to political discussions outside of church, providing evidence that church-going likely strengthens within group orientations. Moreover, church-based discussion networks have no direct positive links to other endogenous

Authors: Nisbet, Matthew., Moy, Patricia. and Scheufele, Dietram.
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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
--18--
the strength but not the direction of the links between biblical interpretation and church
attendance ( = .20); between newspaper reading and national television news viewing ( = .08);
as well as the relationships between political efficacy and social trust ( = .17), political efficacy
and political trust ( = .19), and social trust and political trust ( = .19).
[Insert Figure 1 About Here]
In order to account for possible spurious and third variable influences on the relationships
among endogenous variables, our model incorporated the relevant controls of age, education,
sex, income, ideology, and race. The effects of these controls are displayed in Table 1. Also
controlled for as endogenous variables are the denominational affiliations of white evangelical
Protestant and white mainline Protestant. These denominational effects are detailed later in the
results section.
[Insert Table 1 About Here]
Associational Effects
Our first set of research questions concerned the direct and indirect effects of religion’s
associational dimension, including church attendance and church networks, on social and
political trust. Our findings indicate that religion is limited in its ability to promote social
capital, and that it is actually associations that occur outside of church settings, as well as the
diversity of political discussion, that sponsor social and political trust.
Table 2 indicates that the effects of church attendance are minimal. The main direct
effect for church attendance is the promotion of church-based political discussions. These
church-based networks, however, are negatively related to political discussions outside of
church, providing evidence that church-going likely strengthens within group orientations.
Moreover, church-based discussion networks have no direct positive links to other endogenous


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