Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
The Connection between Worship Attendance and Racial Segregation Attitudes among White and Black Americans
Previous Article in Journal
A Political End to a Pioneering Career: Marianne Beth and the Psychology of Religion
Previous Article in Special Issue
Diffused Religion and Prayer
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2011, 2(3), 264-276; doi:10.3390/rel2030264

Religion and Infant Mortality in the U.S.: A Preliminary Study of Denominational Variations

Department of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2011 / Revised: 25 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 12 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [188 KB, uploaded 14 July 2011]


Prior research has identified a number of antecedents to infant mortality, but has been focused on either structural (demographic) forces or medical (public health) factors, both of which ignore potential cultural influences. Our study introduces a cultural model for explaining variations in infant mortality, one focused on the role of community-level religious factors. A key impetus for our study is well-established religious variations in adult mortality at the community level. Seeking to extend the growing body of research on contextual-level effects of religion, this study examines the impact of religious ecology (i.e., the institutional market share of particular denominational traditions) on county-level infant mortality in the U.S. Analyses of congregational census and Kids Count data reveal that a high prevalence of Catholic and most types of conservative Protestant churches are associated with lower rates of infant mortality when compared with counties that feature fewer Catholic and conservative Protestant congregations. However, communities with a large proportion of Pentecostal churches exhibit significantly higher infant mortality rates. After discussing the implications of these findings, we specify various directions for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; ecology; congregations; infant mortality religion; ecology; congregations; infant mortality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bartkowski, J.P.; Xu, X.; Garcia, G.E. Religion and Infant Mortality in the U.S.: A Preliminary Study of Denominational Variations. Religions 2011, 2, 264-276.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top