Religious orientation, low self-control, and deviance: Muslims, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox-, and " Bible Belt" Christians

Rudi Klanjšek, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Using adolescent samples from four cultures, the current study tested whether effects by religiosity on deviance varied by the nature of religiosity (intrinsic versus extrinsic) and by the cultural context (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, and the U.S.). Results indicated: a) that not every type of religiosity has a buffering effect on deviance - if one's religiousness is predominately instrumental (i.e. extrinsic), then its inhibiting effect is weak or does not exist; b) that the effect of intrinsic religiosity seemed more pronounced in the two surroundings that expressed the highest mean religiosity (U.S., Bosnia & Herzegovina) although results from follow-up analysis (. Z-tests) largely supported a cultural invariance hypothesis. In addition, the intrinsic religiosity-deviance link was moderated by low self-control in each sample, except the Slovenian one. Finally, results indicated that low self-control only partially mediated the religiosity-deviance link.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-682
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
&; Findings from this study were presented at Biennial Meetings of the Society for research on Adolescence (Chicago, IL., March 6–9, 2008). Please address correspondence to Rudi Klanjšek, University of Maribor, Department of Sociology, Koroška cesta 160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia, EU ( ) OR Alexander T. Vazsonyi, University of Kentucky, Department of Family Sciences, 316 Funkhouser Building, Lexington, KY 40506, USA ( ). This work was supported by the Slovenian Ministry of Science and Higher Education [ J5-6646/3311_04_8256646 ].


  • Cross-cultural
  • Cross-national
  • Delinquency
  • Problem behaviors
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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