Research Analysis Lib Data

136 is only slightly reduced from the zero order

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Unformatted text preview: however, as to whether this relationship is meaningful in light of the potential impact of other variables. In Block 2, the first of two sets of covariates is entered into a regression equation along with religious concentration. With the inclusion of these 11 covariates in the analysis, the impact of religious concentration on divorce, that is, β = –.136, is only slightly reduced from the zero-order effect, that is., –.144, and remains significant at the < .05 level of probability. Thus, there is only a 5.6 percent reduction in the overall effect of religious concentration on divorce when controlling for 11 of the factors that are known to be associated with divorce. In short, the degree of religious concentration in the United States still has a statistically significant and independent effect on the rate of currently divorced vis-à-vis this set of variables. This regression analysis also shows that the divorced rate (significant at the p < .05 level) is directly related to percentage population change, percentage Asian/Pacific Islander, percentage unemployed, percentage employed in manufacturing jobs, and percentage urban. The same analysis shows that the divorced rate (again significant at the < .05 level probability) is inversely related to percentage of persons aged between 15 and 34, percentage Hispanic, percentage of females in the population, and median family income. Thus, the findings from previous studies regarding influences on divorce are generally supported in this research, including all four of the “economic instability” measures. On the other hand, there is an absence of statistically significant relationships between persons currently divorced and percent white and percent Native American. By examining the Beta coefficients, that is, the standardized partial regression coefficients, in Block 2 of Table 2, one can assess the relative impact of each of the 12 independent variables in the regression equation on the dependent variable. Percent urban (β = .397) and percent population change ( β = .372) clearly have the greatest impact on the divorce rate. When these 12 variables are rankordered, religious concentration ranks seventh relative to impact on the rate of currently divorced. Block 3 shows the regression analysis with “region” (i.e., West, Northeast, and South, with Midwest as the criterion variable) entered as additional covariates beyond those examined in Block 2. Because region has been shown to be an important contextual variable in the examination of divorce and of religious orientation, the analysis examines region as an added emphasis. To test the impact of region, a separate analysis of variance procedure was conducted in order to determine if there are significant differences among regions in the currently divorced rate. The results confirm the importance of this contextual variable. The mean divorce rate in the West (91.51) is significantly greater ( p ≤ .05) than the rates in each of the other three regions (Midwest 350 LARRY C. MULLINS ET AL. rate = 68.91, Northeast rate = 71.25, and South rate = 76.85). The mean divorce rate in the Midwest is significantly less than rates in the West and South, but not significantly different from the Northeast. The rate in the Northeast is significantly lower than the West’s rate, but not that different from the other two. The South’s rate is significantly less than the West’s rate, but significantly greater than the rate for the Midwest. Thus, as expected the divorce rate varies among regions. Again, as in Block 2, the overall effect of religious concentration on the divorced rate, after controlling for all covariates including region, is somewhat reduced from what it was in the analysis presented in Block 2, that is, from β = –.136 to β = –.119—a 12.5 percent reduction. The independent effect of religious concentration on the divorced rate, however, remains statistically significant. Examination of the regression results in Block 3 indicates that when divorce is regressed on these social, economic, and geographic factors, three variables do not show a statistically significant effect, that is, percent aged between 15 and 34 years, percent Native American, and residence in the Northeast. Percent urban shows the largest effect on the divorced rate ( β = .382), followed by residence in the West (β = .327), and percent change in population ( β = .294). Rates of currently divorced are significantly higher in the West and the South, but not in the Northeast. The low zero-order correlation between divorce and the Northeast is indicative of the low divorce rate in that region. The addition of region to the equation in Block 3 increases the explained variance from 33.8 to 43.3 percent. This indicates a real increase in explained variance of 9.5 percent...
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