This book comes out of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR). The larger project of the NSYR and the specific work of this book reflect the efforts of a great number of people to whom we owe our gratitude and thanks. We thank Chris Coble and the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for their very generous support of NSYR. We are extraordinarily appreciative of Christian Smith for inviting us to be a part of this groundbreaking project, mentoring us professionally, and providing feedback during the process of writing this book. Terri Clark, the project manager for NSYR from Wave 2 on, has been absolutely invaluable, constantly going above and beyond in her management of the data collection, research team activities, funding proposals, reports, Institutional Review Board applications, and management of communication and media requests. We cannot imagine a more skilled, wise, or trustworthy assistant than Terri. Debby Pyatt served as the point person for keeping track of our youth respondents across time—not an easy task! Her diligent tracking efforts led to an admirably high retention rate for the second wave of data collection. Thank you to Emily McKendry-Smith, Beth Latshaw, and Kyle Longest for assisting with these efforts.
We also owe a great debt of gratitude to all of those involved in the collection of the NSYR Wave 2 survey and semistructured interviews. Thank you to those at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, especially Teresa Edwards, Michelle Temple, Jessica Hardie, and Gerald Lackey as well as the interviewers, for their tireless efforts in support of our telephone survey. Kim Manturuk lent her excellent leadership to the fielding of our 122 in-person, semistructured interviews, assisted by an outstanding team of interviewers: John Bartkowski, Tyson Brown, Dan DeHanas, Korie Edwards, Richard Flory, Youn Ok Lee, Alexis Pankey, Norman Peart, Mark Regnerus, David Sikkink, Christian Smith, Steve Vaisey, Ria Van Ryn, and Todd Wilkins. We are grateful to Laura Boutwell, Laura Hoseley, Diane Johnson, Sandi Osterkatz, Robyn Richie and Pam Roberts for transcribing the interviews. And we thank Emily McKendry-Smith and Youn Ok Lee for formatting the transcripts for analysis in ATLAS.ti.
We would also like to thank all those who contributed time and effort in data analysis and research tasks, including Christopher Ball, Ian Conlon, Dan DeHanas, Tracie Gesel, Gretchen Gooding, Jessica Hardie, Taylor Hargrove, Leigh Howell, Hannah Jefferies, Stef Knauer, Beth Latshaw, Youn Ok Lee, Jamie Lewis, Emily McKendry-Smith, Jessica Pearlman, Niobra Peterson, Monica Pyles, Emily McKendry-Smith, Shradha Shrestha, Ria Van Ryn, Ian Conlon and Heather Wendt.
Karolyn Tyson and Michele Berger provided invaluable feedback, advice and moral support during the writing of this book. Mark Chaves and Margarita Mooney, along with the students in their Sociology of Religion classes, similarly offered helpful reactions to and suggestions for drafts of the book.
E. Michael Foster provided excellent guidance in the use of latent class methods. The idea of using latent class models to characterize adolescent religiosity originated from discussions between Pearce and Michael Foster about how to better measure religiosity. The latent class analyses used in this writing of this book were informed by prior analyses conducted by Jessica Hardie in consultation with Foster. Both Foster and Hardie provided valuable assistance in interpreting the preliminary analyses.
Thanks also to Heather Tirado Gilligan for providing exceptional editorial assistance in the final stages. We are grateful for the feedback of the anonymous reviewers whose comments helped shape the direction of the final manuscript. Thank you to Cynthia Read, our editor at Oxford University Press, for guiding us through the publication process.
Another key constituency to the development of this book is the William T. Grant Foundation who generously supported Lisa through a Scholars Award as the book was being written. This award comes with a network of incredibly supportive and encouraging junior scholars, foundation staff, and selection committee members. The mentorship, advice, and camaraderie developed in the past five years have been invaluable to this project. Thanks especially to my senior program advisor, Tom Weisner as well as Bob Granger, Ed Seidman, Vivian Tseng, Irene Williams, Renee Spencer, Rachel Dunifon, Rob Crosnoe, Stefanie DeLuca, Dina Okamoto, and Brian Mustanski. Your support has meant the world.
Pearce’s year as a Fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2007-08) was where the writing of this book launched. Thank you to all the CASBS personnel and fellows (especially my H Block friends) for the rich year.
We extend thanks to our home departments and colleagues, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Sociology and the Carolina Population Center, as well as the Clemson University Department of Sociology and Anthropology, for their support as we undertook this process, from proposal writing, to data collection, through the completion of this manuscript. Thank you to prior mentors and colleagues as well, including our undergraduate advisors at Whitworth University, Robert Clark, Don Liebert, and Raja Tanas, and Seattle Pacific University, Cynthia Price, David Diekema, and David Caddell. Many of the ideas that formed this project and book are rooted in important conversations and social support from close friends and colleagues William G. Axinn, Jennifer Barber, Dirgha Ghimire, Kathie Harris, Arland Thornton and Scott Yabiku.
We wish to extend an especially heartfelt thanks to our families for scaffolding us with their never-ending love and support as we worked on this book: Eldon and Mary Ann Pearce, Megan, Brian, Kathryn, and Emily Smith, Jason Denton, Melvin and Gracie Denton, Gregg and Virginia Lundquist, Marla Conser, Melody Barrera, and Kelley Tegen.
Finally, this book would not have been possible without the generous cooperation of the many parents and youth who continue to participate in the National Study of Youth and Religion. We are forever indebted to your willingness to share your lives with us. You have taught us much.