Despite the considerable research work, there are still conflicting views about the efficacy of the estimated relationship between religiosity and deviance. Some analysts contend that the relationship is spurious and is the by-product of left-out variables that alter both religiosity and delinquency. Others argue that the effects of religiosity are large but are mediated through these left-out variables. This paper shows that it is not always possible to distinguish between these two interpretations by simply including measures of the left-out variables. Instead, using an approach that generates statistically consistent parameter estimates in either case, this paper shows that religiosity has a large and significant negative (though possibly indirect) effect on high school antiascetic behavior.
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