A study of religious attitudes and problems as perceived by current and former Seventh-day Adventist students at Seventh-day Adventist mission secondary schools in Hong Kong
Problem: In spite of the combined efforts of both the local churches and the schools, the church attendance of Seventh-day Adventist adolescents has been low. This present study was to identify the religious attitudes of current Adventist students and Adventist alumni of all Adventist mission secondary schools in Hong Kong and to determine the relationship of these attitudes to other selected variables such as Bible classes, spiritual assemblies, church services and activities, doctrinal beliefs, relationships with parents, teachers, and pastors, their own self-concepts, and peer and media influences. This study sought to relate also the attitudes with 14 background variables such as gender, grade level at baptism, level of education, years spent in Adventist schools, religious background of parents, parents' marital status, church attendance, and residential status, whether dormitory or community students.
Method: The subjects of this study were 165 current students from Form/Middle One to Five and 199 alumni who had left the Adventist secondary schools, not more than 5 years previously. The survey instrument utilized was the Youth Perceptual Inventory developed by Dudley (1977), modified by Laurent (1986), then further modified and translated into the Chinese language, and validated.
Results: An investigation of the alienation scores indicated that 7% of the Adventist population might be considered to have negative attitudes toward religion. The variables that elicited the most negative attitudes concerned uninteresting sermons, unhappiness while attending an Adventist school or church, restrictive church standards, not feeling accepted at church, and unenjoyable church youth activities.
Eight of the 13 highest correlations dealt with church influences; school-influence variables ranked second. The influence of media and peers ranked 12th and 15th, respectively. Home-influence variables ranked no higher than 17th.
The best predictors for alienation in descending order were: lack of church involvement, lack of personal interest of teachers, authoritarianism in pastors, unbelief in Adventist doctrines, lack of personal interest of pastors, negative media influence, lack of religious sincerity of teachers, and family disharmony.
Conclusion: It is important that parents, teachers, and religious leaders endeavor to manifest and communicate qualities associated with positive religious attitudes.
Daniel Gim-Teng Chuah
Full text available online through ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Completed through Andrews University.
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