Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Pro Religious Orientation of Episcopal Church Adult Learners in Southern California

Alice W. Mambo


Allport and Ross’ (1967) proposed two main religious orientations: intrinsic and extrinsic. It is believed that individuals with an intrinsic orientation toward religion are those who are wholly committed toward their religious beliefs and that religiosity is evident in every aspect of their life. On the other hand, those with an extrinsic orientation use religion as a means to provide participation in a powerful in–group protection, consolation and social status. This paper is an analysis of the intrinsic, extrinsic and pro-religious orientation in relation to adult Christian education. The study focuses on Episcopal Adult learners in Southern California involving 454 conveniently sampled Episcopalian adults. Among these are 63% represented by females and 37% males all averaging 50 years of age. Religious motivation was measured using the Religious Orientation Scale (ROS) as developed by Allport and Ross (1967). Other variables like age, gender, marital status and education level and ethnicity were considered in the study. Using Pearson Product-Moment Correlation, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Tukey-HSD Post hoc tests, the findings were presented with all hypotheses tested at an alpha significance level of .05. For the Intrinsic scale statistically significant positive correlations were found with the Cognitive Interest (r = .33, p<.05, r2= .11) and Spiritual Growth (r = .47, p<.05, r2 = .18), factors of the Education Participation Scale (EPS). While for the Extrinsic scale, statistical significant positive correlations were found with the Social Contact (r = .33, p<.05, r2 =.11), Education Preparation (r = .38, p<.05, r2 = .15), Family Togetherness (r = .37, p<.05, r2 = .14) and Social Stimulation (r = .39, p<.05, r2 = .15) factors of the Education Participation Scale (EPS). Interestingly, there was a positive but weak correlation between both Intrinsic (r = .24, p<.05, r2= .06) and Extrinsic (r = .21, p<.05, r2= .04) scales with the Church and Community Service subscale. Majority of the participants tended to be intrinsically motivated (n=405) as compared to those who were extrinsically motivated (n=42).

Key words: Religious orientation, Intrinsic, Extrinsic, Pro-religious values, South California, Episcopal Church

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