PARTICIPATION OF ADULT MEXICAN-AMERICAN CATHOLICS IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS

ANNE FINNERTY, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the significant stimulants and barriers to the participation of adult Mexican-American Catholics in parish religious education programs. Stimulants and barriers were examined from the perspective of the adult laity as well as from that of the parish administrators. The study also compared the patterns of participation and nonparticipation in adult education among the general population with those in the sample relative to age, sex, income, prior schooling and learning goals.^ To accomplish these tasks, an instrument, Participation in Adult Religious Education, was prepared in English and in Spanish. It was used with the 1,200 lay persons in the proportionately stratified random sample as well as with the 137 priests and DRE's in the 58 parishes in the study. Interviews were also conducted with 50 lay persons randomly selected from the original sample, 25 of whom responded to the questionnaire and 25 who had not. A Mann-Whitney test revealed that no significant differences existed between the respondents and the nonrespondents.^ Chi-square analysis of the responses of the laity and the administrators revealed a divergence beyond the .05 critical level between the two groups in their perception of the factors that stimulate and impede adults' participation in religious education. Six hypotheses were developed from the literature on "secular" adult education and tested. It was found that age, sex, prior education and higher income effected participation patterns in adult religious education which are different from those that prevail in secular adult education. The learning goals of the participants were also different.^ The study has implications for parish administrators of religion programs as to the learning climate, the assessment of needs, the planning, the content of the programs, the barriers and the stimulants to participation operative in a given region or parish. It also has implications for adult education in the general population relative to the sex, income, prior education and social factors affecting potential adult learners who are members of a specific ethnic group. ^

Subject Area

Adult education|Religious education

Recommended Citation

FINNERTY, ANNE, "PARTICIPATION OF ADULT MEXICAN-AMERICAN CATHOLICS IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213603.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213603

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