​​Professor Amy Adamczyk, Ph.D.
Dr. Amy Adamczyk is Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Programs of Doctoral Study in Sociology and Criminal Justice at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).  In 2005 she received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University. She holds MA degrees from the University of Chicago and the Graduate Center/ Queens College, and she completed her BA degree at Hunter College. 

Her research focuses on how different contexts (e.g. nations, counties, friendship groups), and personal religious beliefs shape people’s deviant, criminal, and health-related attitudes and behaviors. Her research has been published in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Justice Quarterly, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science Research, Social Science Quarterly, Sociological Quarterly, Sociology of Religion, and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.  

She is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Book Award from the International Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. With her colleague she received the 2017 Best Paper of the Year Award from the Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion. In 2009 John Jay College awarded her the Donald MacNamara Award for Junior Faculty, in 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2016 she was the recipient of John Jay College’s Research Excellence Award, and in 2011 she received the John Jay College's  Midcareer Award.  Her research has been supported with grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.​  She is also a board member for the  LGBT Social Science & Public Policy Center at Hunter College, CUNY.


 Abstracts of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

If you would like an article, send me an email and I would be happy to forward it.
** Indicates student coauthor during article preparation.
Amy Adamczyk, and Margret Valdimarsdottir**. (in press). "Understanding Americans’ Abortion Attitudes: The Role of the Local Religious Context." Social Science Research.

ABSTRACT:   Although abortion became legal over 40 years ago, Americans remain staunchly divided over its acceptability. Personal religious beliefs and behaviors have emerged as some of the most important factors shaping disapproval.  Despite religion’s importance, very little attention has been given to how the local religious context may shape views and abortion access. Using data from the General Social Survey (N=6,922) that has geographical identifiers, we examine the role of the local religious context for shaping attitudes and the presence of a county abortion clinic.  We find that as the level of county religious engagement rises, religious and secular residents alike develop more conservative attitudes.  Conversely, as the county Catholic rate increases, moderate and liberal Protestants become more prochoice. While the county conservative Protestant rate has no influence on residents’ attitudes, it is the only religious contextual measure that shapes the likelihood that a county has an abortion clinic. 
Amy Adamczyk, Chunrye Kim** and Maggie Schmuhl** (in press). “Newspaper Presentations
of Homosexuality Across Nations: Examining Differences by Religion, Economic Development, and
Democracy.” Sociological Perspectives.

ABSTRACT: A lot of research attention has been devoted to understanding cross-national differences in attitudes about homosexuality. A key finding has been that richer, more democratic, and less religious nations are more supportive. However, aside from establishing these relationships, we know little about how public discourse about homosexuality differs across nations. To better understand how public discussions about sexual minorities are framed, this multimethods’ study examines over 800 newspaper articles from Muslim and Protestant-majority nations. Although there are no differences in the extent to which Muslim and Protestant nations discuss homosexuality in the context of religion, Muslim nations are more likely to frame homosexuality as a moral issue and use government claimsmakers. Very poor countries are also more likely to associate homosexuality with morality. Finally, more democratic nations are more likely to discuss homosexuality in the context of rights and include social movement leaders as claimsmakers.
 Jacob Felson and Amy Adamczyk. (in press) “Effects of Geography on Mental Health Disparities on Sexual
Minorities in New York City." Archives of Sexual Behavior.

ABSTRACT: Gay and lesbian individuals have higher rates of psychological distress than do heterosexual individuals. The minority stress hypothesis attributes this disparity to adversity-related stress experienced by sexual minorities. In support of this idea, research in the U.S. has generally found that mental health disparities between sexual minorities and others are narrower in places where tolerance is relatively high. However, few studies have examined disparities between sexual minorities and others in neighborhoods where sexual minorities are most highly concentrated. Likewise, little research attention has been given to disparities for people who move to more tolerant places from less tolerant states and countries. Using data from the New York City Community Health Survey we found some evidence that disparities between sexual minorities and others were lower in areas with higher concentrations of sexual minorities. However, disparities did not vary by the tolerance level of the state of birth among those born in the United States, and were actually lower among those born in the least tolerant nations. These results complicate the idea that there is a dose-response relationship between tolerance and psychological distress among sexual minorities.
 Amy Adamczyk, Joshua.D. Freilich, and Chunrye Kim.** 2017 “Religion and Crime: The Way Forward.” Sociology of Religion 78: 192-232.  

ABSTRACT: Over the last twenty years researchers have given a lot of attention to the relationship between religion and crime, finding that religion tends to have a deterring influence on crime-related attitudes and behaviors.  While a variety of studies have been published in this area, little work has been done to assess the state of research on religion and crime. Because so much research has consistently found a relationship, work on religion may be able to offer fresh insight into criminological theory and substantive research more generally. This study fills a gap in current understanding by conducting a systematic review of empirically-based journal articles published between 2004 and 2014. The analysis, which assesses qualitative and quantitative studies, offers theoretical and empirical insight into what religion brings to the study of crime, and vice versa.  The results focus on the data sources, methods, theories, and journals used in producing research on religion and crime. The findings highlight the most popular theoretical perspectives, which include religious contextual effects, social control, and social learning, as well as the least popular ones. Insight into the strengths and weaknesses of current research on religion and crime is provided, as is direction for future research into this innovative area of research. 
Gary LaFree and Amy Adamczyk. 2017. “Change and Stability in Attitudes toward Terrorism:  The Impact of the Boston Marathon Bombings.” Justice Quarterly 34: 459-490.

ABSTRACT: While a key to law enforcement success is the willingness of the public to cooperate with police we have limited understanding of how terrorist attacks affect this public readiness. Prior research suggests that terrorist attacks might increase citizen cooperation with police through both prevention efforts and rally effects.  We test these assertions with three nationally representative surveys on respondents’ willingness to help police combat terrorism: one before the Boston Marathon bombings and two after. As predicted, public willingness to report suspicious behavior to police increases significantly following the bombings and there is evidence that these increases generalize to ordinary crime.  We also find that knowledge of key counter terrorism programs increases after the bombings, effects are somewhat stronger for the New England area than other regions, and the strength of the results are greatly diminished 16 months after the attacks.  Conclusions are similar for both panel and cross-sectional analyses. 

Christopher Scheitle and Amy Adamczyk. 2016. “Responding to a Call: Religion as a Resource in the Organizational Founding Process.” Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion 13: 94-116.

*Awarded Best Paper of 2016 from the Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion ($1,000)

ABSTRACT: Organizational scholars have not considered the potential power of religion as a sensemaking tool. Religion scholars have wondered whether religious sensemaking is simply a post hoc justification for behavior, or whether it can shape future actions. In this article we present mixed-methods research that gets at the intersection of these issues. We consider the role of religion as a resource for founders of new organizations, specifically religious nonprofits. Using interviews with religious nonprofit founders and a national survey of young religious nonprofits, we find that reports of religious experiences are more common among primary founders relative to non-primary founders and non-founders. This suggests that religious narratives and frameworks are particularly important for those individuals most responsible for the founding of an organization. We also find that those founders reporting certain religious experiences work more hours in the organization, suggesting that sensemaking strategies could have consequences for individuals’ behavior.

Amy Adamczyk, Kathy Boyd** and Brittany Hayes**. 2016. “Place matters: Contextualizing the roles of Religion and Race for Understanding Americans’ Attitudes about Homosexuality.” Social Science Research 57:1-16.

ABSTRACT: As laws and policies related to homosexuality have evolved, Americans’ attitudes have also changed.  Race and religion have been established as important indicators of feelings about homosexuality.  However, researchers have given almost no attention to how county characteristics shape Americans’ attitudes. Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling techniques, we examine how personal characteristics and the religious and racial context of a county shape feelings about homosexuality drawing on data from the American National Election Survey and information about where respondents reside. We find that African Americans initially appear less tolerant than other racial groups, until we account for the geographical distribution of attitudes across the nation.  Additionally, once we consider religious involvement, strength of belief, and religious affiliation African Americans appear to have warmer feelings about homosexuality than whites.  Drawing on the moral communities’ hypothesis, we also find that the strength of religiosity amongst county residents heightens the influence of personal religious beliefs on disapproving attitudes. There is also a direct effect of the proportion conservative Protestant, whereby people of all faiths have cooler attitudes towards homosexual individuals when they reside in a county with a higher proportion of conservative Protestants.  Finally, we do not find any evidence for an African American cultural influence on attitudes.

Yen-hsin Alice Cheng, Fen-Chieh Felice Wu**, and Amy Adamczyk. 2016.  “Changing Attitudes toward Homosexuality in Taiwan, 1995-2012.” Chinese Sociological Review 48:317–45.

ABSTRACT: Most of what we know about attitudes toward homosexuality comes from research focused on Europe and the Americas. Much less is known about attitudinal change in East Asia, even though some nations have begun to propose liberal laws and policies regarding homosexuality. Focusing on Taiwan, a more liberal and economically developed society, this study examines key characteristics associated with changes in attitudes about homosexuality. Data from three waves of the World Values Survey collected in 1995, 2006, and 2012 are used. The findings show that overall social tolerance has increased, which is mainly due to cohort succession and partly to intra-cohort changes in attitudes. Improvement in education and liberal values related to divorce, prostitution, and gender roles act as mediators for the cohort differences in tolerance. In addition, women and the college-educated hold more liberal attitudes toward homosexuals than men or the least educated in recent years. Christians were not especially intolerant toward homosexuality in 1995, but became significantly less tolerant than other religions by 2012, which is likely due to a resistance to attitudinal changes for the Christian community.

Amy Adamczyk, Chunrye Kim,** and Lauren Paradis**. 2015. “Investigating Differences in How the News Media Views Homosexuality across Nations: An Analysis of the United States, South Africa, and Uganda.” Sociological Forum 30: 1038-1058.

ABSTRACT: While there is a wealth of information about the extent to which people across the world disapprove of homosexuality, we know a lot less about the lenses through which they view same-sex relations. The aim of this study is to understand better how homosexuality is framed in the public press, and how religion and economic development may combine to shape this discourse. Through an analysis of almost 400 newspaper articles, this study compares how homosexuality is framed in Uganda, South Africa, and the United States.  Because these nations have high levels of religious belief, but differ in their level of economic development and democracy, we can assess how these factors interact to shape portrayals.  Drawing on work from cultural sociology and the sociology of religion, this study shows that the United States is much more likely than Uganda to frame homosexuality as a civil rights’ issue and use entertainers as claimsmakers. Conversely, articles from Uganda are more likely than those from the United States or South Africa to frame homosexuality as a religious issue and draw on religious claimsmakers. Likewise, Uganda is much more likely than South Africa to discuss homosexuality in the context of Western influences.

Amy Adamczyk and Yen-hsin Alice Cheng. 2015.  “Explaining Attitudes about Homosexuality in Confucian and non-Confucian Nations: Is there a ‘Cultural’ Influence?” Social Science Research. 51: 276-289.

* Supported with a grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange

ABSTRACT: The majority of research on attitudes about homosexuality has concentrated on the global North and on Christian and Muslim majority nations.  Little research attention has been given to the factors that shape tolerance in societies with a Confucian heritage. Residents of Confucian counties are less tolerant than Europeans and Americans.  One reason given for this difference is the emphasis on Confucian values in many Asian societies. Using data from the World Values Survey, we examine whether values that could be described as Confucian influence attitudes in Confucian and non-Confucian nations. We find a unique Confucian cultural effect, which can partially be explained with concerns about keeping the family intact. Conversely, in Confucian societies values related to obedience, conformity, and filial piety are unrelated to attitudes. There is also a small Buddhist contextual effect, resulting in more tolerant attitudes, and the Confucian influence cannot be reduced to an Asian regional effect.

Joshua.D. Freilich, Amy Adamczyk, Steven M. Chermak, Kathy Boyd** and William S. Parkin. 2015. “Investigating the Applicability of Macro-Level Criminology Theory to Terrorism: A County-Level Analysis.”  Journal of Quantitative Criminology.  31: 383-411.  

* Supported with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security Human Factors Behavioral Sciences Division through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.

ABSTRACT: Objectives: This exploratory study examines if causal mechanisms highlighted by criminology theories work in the same way to explain both ideologically motivated violence (i.e., terrorism) and regular (non-political) homicides. We study if macro-level hypotheses drawn from deprivation, backlash, and social disorganization frameworks are associated with the likelihood that a far-right extremist who committed an ideologically motivated homicide inside the contiguous US resides in a particular county. To aid in the assessment of whether criminology theories speak to both terrorism and regular violence we also apply these hypotheses to far-right homicide and regular homicide incident location and compare the results.
Material and methods: We use data from the US Extremist Crime Database (ECDB) and the FBI’s SHR to create our dependent variables for the 1990–2012 period and estimated a series of logistic regression models.
Conclusions: The findings are complex. On the one hand, the models we estimated to account for the odds of a far-right perpetrator residing in a county found that some hypotheses were significant in all, or almost all, models. These findings challenge the view that terrorism is completely different from regular crime and argues for separate causal models to explain each. On the other hand, we estimated models that applied these same hypotheses to account for the odds that a far-right homicide incident occurred in a county, and that a county had very high regular homicide rate. Our comparison of the results found a few similarities, but also demonstrated that different variables were generally significant for each outcome variable. In other words, although criminology theory accounts for some of the odds for both outcomes, different causal mechanisms also appear to be at play in each instance. We elaborate on both of these points and highlight a number of important issues for future research to address.

Amy Adamczyk and Gary LaFree. 2015. “Religiosity and Reactions to Terrorism.” Social Science Research. 51: 17-29.

* Supported with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Division through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.

ABSTRACT: Although many of the world’s most serious outbreaks of conflict and violence center on religion, social science research has had relatively little to say about religion’s unique role in shaping individuals’ attitudes about these events. In this paper we investigate whether Americans’ religious beliefs play a central role in shaping attitudes toward the continuing threat of terrorism and their willingness to assist officials in countering these perceived threats. Our analysis of an original data collection of almost 1,600 Americans shows that more religious respondents are more likely to express concerns about terrorism. However, this relationship is mediated by their level of conservatism. We also find that more religious respondents are more likely to claim that they will assist government officials in countering terrorism. This relationship remained even after accounting for conservatism, and people’s general willingness to help police solve crimes like breaking and entering.

Amy Adamczyk, Jeff Gruenwald, Steven M. Chermak, and Joshua D. Freilich. 2014. “The Relationship between Hate Groups and Far-Right Ideological Violence.”  Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 30: 310-332.

* Supported with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security Human Factors Behavioral Sciences Division through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.

ABSTRACT: This study examines whether the presence of hate groups increases the likelihood of serious ideologically-motivated violence committed by far-rightists.  While hate crime research has generally focused on a single state or made comparisons across several states, we seek to examine this relationship within the context of U.S. counties.  A smaller unit of analysis allows for the simultaneous consideration of several social processes operating at the community level, which might also influence ideologically-motivated offending by far-right extremists.  We test the relationship using data from the Extremist Crime Database for the dependent measure, the Southern Poverty Law Center for the hate groups measure, and various other sources for additional variables.  We find that the existence of a hate group in a county is significantly related to the occurrence of far-right ideologically-motivated violence.  

Amy Adamczyk. 2013. “The Effect of Personal Religiosity on Attitudes toward Abortion, Divorce, and Gender Equality: Does Cultural Context Make a Difference?” EurAmerica: A Journal of European and American Studies 43: 213-253.

ABSTRACT: Across the globe people differ considerably in their attitudes about abortion, divorce, and gender equality, with great variation across countries in laws regulating divorce, penalties for women obtaining abortions, and differences in women’s level of political representation. While personal religious beliefs are often seen as having a significant role in shaping attitudes, economic development, and political stability are also seen as important predictors of attitudes about sexual morality and gender equality. This study merges ideas from cultural sociology and the sociology of religion to address the interrelationship between personal religiosity and national cultural orientations for explaining cross-national variation in public opinion about abortion, divorce, and gender equality. Using data from the fourth wave of the World Values Survey and Hierarchical Linear Modeling techniques, support is found for a broad cultural axis of survival vs. self-expressive orientations and personal religious involvement for directing attitudes about abortion and divorce. Moreover, personal religious involvement appears to have a greater effect on attitudes about abortion, divorce, and gender equality in countries like the United States, which have a strong self-expressive cultural orientation, than in many Sub-Saharan African nations.

Amy Adamczyk and Brittany E. Hayes**. 2012. “Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage.” American Sociological Review 77: 723-746.

* Selected by the American Sociological Association for public promotion
* Appearing in over 30 major news and media outlets.                                                                 
* Selected by Sage Publications for a Podcast.

ABSTRACT: Social scientists have long been interested in how cultural or structural characteristics shape individuals’ actions.  We further investigate this relationship by examining how macro-level and micro-level religious effects shape individuals’ reports of premarital and extramarital sex.  We look at how identifying with one of the major world religions - Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism- and living in a nation with a Muslim culture shape the likelihood of sex outside of marriage.  Using hierarchical modeling techniques and cross-national data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, we find that ever married Hindus and Muslims are less likely to report having had premarital sex than are ever married Jews and Christians, and an earlier age at marriage does not appear to explain the relationship.  Married Muslims are also less likely than all other affiliates, except Buddhists, to report extramarital sex. The percentage Muslim within a nation decreases the odds of reports of premarital sex and the relationship is not explained by restrictions on women’s mobility. The findings contribute to research on religion, culture, policy, and health, as well as our understanding of the macro-micro relationship.

Amy Adamczyk and Jacob Felson. 2012. “The Effect of Religion-Supported Programs on Health-Related Behaviors in Adolescence.” Review of Religious Research 54: 469-497.

*Supported with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

ABSTRACT: Much research has found a relationship between religion and teens’ health related behaviors.  The majority of this research focuses on personal religious beliefs and behaviors.  But, many religious organizations also sponsor nonreligious activities. There is reason to think that nonreligious programs sponsored by religious organizations will be more likely than school and community-based extracurricular programs to be associated with healthier behaviors, even for youth who are not personally religious. The current study compares the influence of involvement in nonreligious activities that are supported by religious and other organizations for teen health outcomes.  Using two waves of longitudinal data from the National Study of Youth and Religion the current study finds that involvement in religion-supported programs is associated with feelings of well-being, better physical health, less alcohol use, and delayed initiation into first sex.  Conversely, involvement in activities sponsored by nonreligious organizations is associated with more alcohol use and initiation into sex. 
Can be accessed at Springer Link

Amy Adamczyk. 2012. “Examining the Role of Religion-Supported Secular Programs for Explaining Initiation into First Sex”  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 51: 324-342.

*Supported with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

ABSTRACT: A number of studies have found that more religious youth are more likely to delay their sexual debut (sometimes until marriage) than less religious youth.  This research focuses on the roles of personal religious beliefs and involvement for shaping initiation into vaginal sex.  Increasingly, religious organizations are offering activities, such as baseball and basketball, to local youth that may interest teens, regardless of their personal religious beliefs. As a result of their involvement in these religion-supported secular programs there is reason to think that all involved youth may gain some health-related benefits.  This study is one of the first to examine the influence of involvement in religion-supported secular activities for first sex. Using two waves of data from the National Study of Youth and Religion this study finds that amongst teens who have engaged in some of the precursors to first sex, namely sexual touching, involvement in religion-supported secular activities is associated with lower odds of having first sex between W1 and W2.  More conservative attitudes about sex outside of marriage, in part, explain the relationship.  Conversely, network overlap, the number of friends who belong to a youth group, and pressure from friends and partners to have sex do not significantly mediate the relationship.
Can be accessed at Wiley

Amy Adamczyk. 2012. “Understanding Delinquency with Friendship Group Religious Context.”  Social Science Quarterly. 93:482-505.

ABSTRACT: Objective: While much research has examined the link between personal religious beliefs and practices and delinquency, little research attention has been given to the influence of friends’ religious beliefs for explaining teen delinquency.  This study fills this gap in the literature by examining the role of individual and friends’ religious beliefs and born-again identity for shaping delinquency.  Methods: Two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and measures taken from individuals and their friends are used to examine the influence of individual and friends’ religiosity and born-again identity for violent and property offending.  Results: Friends’ private religiosity appears to strengthen the inverse relationship between individual private religiosity and stealing.  Neither individual nor friends’ religiosity or born-again identity has any effect on violent offending. Conclusions: Whereas friends’ delinquency has a consistently positive association with respondent delinquency, friends’ religiosity plays a supporting role, heightening the deterring influence of personal religiosity for stealing and shoplifting.
Can be accessed at Wiley

Amy Adamczyk. 2012. “Extracurricular Activities and Teens’ Alcohol Use: The Role of Religious and Secular Sponsorship.” Social Science Research 41:412-424.

*Supported with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

ABSTRACT: Much research has found that more religious youth are less likely to engage in riskier health-related behaviors. However, very little research has examined the role that religion may play in shaping the health-related behaviors of secular youth.  There is reason to think that more and less religious youth may gain some health-related benefits from involvement with religious organizations through activities such as basketball and volunteering.  Using two waves of data from the National Study of Youth and Religion, this study finds that involvement in religion-supported secular activities is associated with less alcohol use for all involved teens.  The number of friends who belong to a religious youth group, in part, explains the relationship.  Conversely, network overlap between parents and teens, the number of friends who drink or use drugs, and having an adult confidant from a religious group are not mechanisms that mediate the relationship.
Can be accessed at Science Direct

Meredith Greif, Amy Adamczyk, and Jacob Felson. 2011 “Religion and Caregiving and Political Volunteering in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 7(11)

ABSTRACT: Much research has examined the relationship between religion and civic engagement, finding that more religious people are more likely to donate their time, energy, and money to community organizations. The overwhelming majority of the quantitative research on the relationship between religion and civic engagement has been done in Europe and North America. However, we know that many people living in sub-Saharan Africa volunteer their time, and because of the many economic, social, and health problems that plague the continent, the need for local volunteers is particularly acute. This article uses data from the 2000 World Values Survey and multivariate regression models to examine which dimensions of religion are associated with unpaid involvement in caregiving and political organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Special attention is given to the role of gender for understanding who volunteers for caregiving and political organizations. The findings show that socializing with religious friends is associated with an increased likelihood of volunteering for both types of organizations and that religious importance is associated with a greater likelihood of caregiver volunteering. Conversely, religious importance and service attendance are associated with a lower likelihood of volunteering for political organizations. As expected, women are more likely to volunteer for caregiving organizations and men are more likely to volunteer for political organizations.

Amy Adamczyk and Meredith Greif. 2011. “Education and Risky Sex in Africa: Unraveling the Link between Women’s Education and Reproductive Health Behaviors in Kenya” Social Science Research.40: 654-666.

ABSTRACT: Much research attention has been devoted to understanding the relationship between education and riskier sex-related behaviors and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. While in the early 1990's researchers found that increases in education were associated with a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, this relationship appears to have reversed and better educated people, especially women, appear less likely to engage in riskier sex-related behaviors and have a lower incidence rate of HIV/AIDS. Our study begins to unravel the mechanisms that could explain why women's educational attainment is associated with safer sex-related behaviors in sub-Saharan Africa. Using data from the 2003 Kenyan Demographic and Health Survey, we examine the potential mediating effects of HIV/AIDS knowledge, family planning discussions, gender empowerment, and husband's education for explaining the relationship between education and age of first sex, casual sex, multiple sex partners, and condom use. We find that gender empowerment partially explains the relationship between education and age of first sex, and HIV/AIDS knowledge, husband's education, and family planning discussions partially explain the relationship between education and condom use. We argue that gender inequality and social learning processes are likely to play a greater role in explaining the relationship between woman's education and sex-related behaviors in sub-Saharan Africa than they do in more industrialized nations where social capital explanations may have more explanatory power.

Chris Scheitle and Amy Adamczyk. 2010. “High-cost Religion, Religious Switching, and Health.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 51: 325-342.

ABSTRACT: Previous research has devoted a significant amount of attention to understanding the link between personal religious beliefs and practices and health, typically finding that more religious people tend to have better health.  However, almost no attention has been given to how switching religious groups or leaving religion altogether influences self-reported health. There is reason to think that some people with poor health may be motivated to join high-cost religions because of the potential religious benefits or rewards, including better health.  Conversely, the exit costs of leaving strict religious groups may negatively impact individuals’ well-being.  Using data from the General Social Survey, we examine the relationship between health and religious switching and leaving. We find that people from high-cost Sectarian groups like the Jehovah Witnesses have better self-reported health than people from Evangelical Protestant denominations.  However, people leaving high-cost Sectarian religions report worse health than those leaving other Protestant religions. Amongst people raised in Protestant denominations, poor health is a positive predictor of switching into a Sectarian group.

Steven Stack, Amy Adamczyk, and Liqun Cao. 2010.  “Survivalism and Public Opinion on Criminality: A Cross-National Analysis of Prostitution.” Social Forces 88:1703-1726.

ABSTRACT: Explanations of variability in public opinion on criminality have drawn disproportionately from the literature on specific symbolic orientations including religious fundamentalism and racial prejudice. In contrast, this paper uses a general, primary cultural axis of nations as its explanatory construct.   It is hypothesized that public opinion in support of criminality (herein prostitution) is linked to the strength of a general cultural axis of nations: survivalism vs. self-expressionism (Inglehart and Baker 2000).  Data are from the fourth wave of the World Values Survey. They are based on 45,102 interviews conducted on representative samples in each of 32 nations.  Hierarchical modeling techniques are used to sort out the bi-level effects of survivalist culture on the approval of prostitution.  Controls are incorporated from social learning theory, control theory, and demographic perspectives.  Controlling for all other predictors, the personal survivalism index was the most powerful predictor of prostitution acceptability, followed by the country-level survivalism index.  Unlike previous investigations, which relied on specific symbolic orientations, and American-based samples, the present results suggest that public attitudes about criminality are linked to a generalized cultural axis of nations.
Can be accessed at Oxford Journals

Amy Adamczyk and Cassady Pitt**.  2009. “Shaping Attitudes about Homosexuality: The Role of Religion and Cultural Context.” Social Science Research. 38: 338-351.

*In every reporting period since the article was published in 2009 it has been one of the five most downloaded articles published by the journal. See Science Direct.

ABSTRACT: Across the globe, the debate over homosexuality continues, with great variation in public opinion about the acceptability of homosexuality, laws regulating same-sex unions and penalties for homosexual sex behaviors. Religion is often seen as an important predictor of attitudes about homosexuality. However, cross-national differences in cultural orientations suggest that the role religion has in explaining homosexual attitudes may depend on a nation’s cultural context. In this study, we merge ideas from cultural sociology and religious contextual effects to explain cross-national variation in public opinion about homosexuality.Using data from the fourth wave of the World Values Survey and Hierarchical Modeling techniques, we find support for the micro and macro effects of religion and a survival vs. self-expressive cultural orientation. Moreover, we find that personal religious beliefs have a greater effect on attitudes about homosexuality in countries like the United States, which have a strong self-expressive cultural orientation.

Amy Adamczyk. 2009. “Understanding the Effects of Personal and School Religiosity on the Decision to Abort a Premarital Pregnancy.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 50: 180-195.*

* Selected by the American Sociological Association for public promotion.
* Included in Contexts magazine as “new and noteworthy social research.
* Selected for a CUNY Newsmakers Podcast.

ABSTRACT: Although much research has examined the relationship between religion andabortion attitudes, few studies have examined whether religion influences abortionbehavior. This study looks at whether individual and school religiosity influence reported abortion behavior among women who become pregnant while unmarried. Hierarchical Logistic Models are implemented to analyze two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Findings show that personal religiosity is unrelated to reported abortion behavior. However, conservative Protestants appear less likely to obtain abortions than mainline Protestants, Catholics, and women of non-Christian faiths. Regardless of personal religious affiliation, having attended a school with a high proportion of conservative Protestants appears to discourage abortion as women enter their twenties. Conversely, women from private religious high schools appear more likely to report obtaining an abortion than women from public schools. 

Amy Adamczyk. 2009. “Socialization and Selection in the Link between Friends’ Religiosity and the Transition to Sexual Intercourse,” Sociology of Religion 70: 5-27.

ABSTRACT: Although much research has examined how friends influence teens’ sexual behaviors, little attention has been given to the association between friends’ religiosity and coital debut.  This study looks at the processes that could produce this association, examining whether friends’ religiosity influences the transition to sexual intercourse and whether teens sort into friendship groups on the basis of consistency between their virginity status and their friends’ religious attitudes. Using two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this paper finds that friends’ religiosity influences respondents’ coital debut even after accounting for the proportion of friends who have had sex.  Likewise, teens who delay their coital debut tend to switch to more religious friends, while teens who have had their coital debut tend to switch to less religious friends.  These findings add to a growing body of research on the relationship between religious contextual effects and individual behavior.

Khari Brown and Amy Adamczyk. 2009. “Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Provision of Health-related Programs among American Religious Congregations.” Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 36: 105-123.

ABSTRACT: Using national data from the Faith Communities Today 2000 survey, the current study builds upon Lincoln and Mamiya’s (1990) argument of the civically active Black Church. Originally used to assess the relative activism of Black and White congregations, the current study suggests that Black congregations are more likely to provide health programs than are predominantly White, Hispanic and Asian congregations. The greater involvement of Black congregations in the provision of health programs likely has much to do with the historical and continued cultural, spiritual, and political role that churches play in Black communities.
Full article can be accessed for free at Marshall

Chris Scheitle and Amy Adamczyk. 2009. “It Takes Two: The Interplay of Individual and Group Theology on Social Embeddedness,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48: 16-29.

ABSTRACT: Prior research argues that religious homophily in social networks is a product of overlapping interests and activities unintentionally leading to relationships and\or the intentional seeking of relationships with people of similar religious beliefs.  This article advances research on religious homophily by including the role that exclusive theological beliefs play in explaining religious homophily amongst friends.  We lay out three propositions for individual, congregational, and cross-level effects on the relationship between exclusive theology and embeddedness within one’s congregation.  Using multilevel models and data from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, we find support for our three propositions. We discuss our findings in terms of how exclusive theologies may contribute to bonding forms of social capital, but limit exposure to diverse social perspectives and bridging forms of social capital.  
Can be accessed at Wiley

Amy Adamczyk, 2008. “Religious Contextual Norms, Structural Constraints, and Personal Religiosity for Abortion Decisions,” Social Science Research 37: 657-672.

Amy Adamczyk and Ian Palmer**. 2008. “Religion and Initiation into Marijuana Use: The Deterring Role of Religious Friends,” Journal of Drug Issues 38: 717-742.

Amy Adamczyk and Jacob Felson. 2008. “Fetal Positions: Unraveling the Influence of Religion on Premarital Pregnancy Resolution,” Social Science Quarterly 89: 17-.38.

* Selected by Social Science Quarterly for public promotion.

Roger Finke and Amy Adamczyk. 2008. “Cross-National Moral Beliefs: The Influence of National Religious Context,” Sociological Quarterly 49: 615-650.

Roger Finke and Amy Adamczyk. 2008. “The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA): Online Research Data, Tools, and References.” Politics and Religion. 1: 456-470

Steven Stack, Liqun Cao, and Amy Adamczyk, 2007. “Crime Volume and Law and Order Culture” Justice Quarterly 24: 291-308. (On published article last name is misspelled as “Adamzyck.”)

* Received 2008 Donald MacNamara Award for best paper, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
* Reprinted in Chinese: Steven Stack, Liqun Cao, and Amy Adamczyk, 2007. “Crime Volume and Law and Order Culture” Criminal Justice International 14: 1-22. 

Amy Adamczyk and Jacob Felson, 2006. “Friends’ Religiosity and First Sex,” Social Science Research 35: 924-947

* Received 2005 Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) section, Children and Youth.

Amy Adamczyk, 2005. “Frankl, Bettelheim and the Camps,” Genocide Research 7: 1-17.

Amy Adamczyk, 2004. “Religious Switching: Does Parents’ Education Matter?” Research in the Social  Scientific Study of Religion 15: 51-70.

Amy Adamczyk, John Wybraniec, and Roger Finke, 2004. “Religious Regulation and the Courts:
Documenting the Effects of Smith and RFRA,” Journal of Church and State 46: 237-262.

Amy Adamczyk, 2002. “On Thanksgiving and Collective Memory: Constructing the American
Tradition,” Journal of Historical Sociology 15: 343-356.