Church attendance in Northern Ireland: Catholics and protestants compared

Melanie Giles, Ed Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While it is widely acknowledged that Northern Ireland is a religious society, Protestants still do not attend church as often as do Catholics. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to employ the Ajzen and Fishbein framework to investigate what factors help to explain why Catholics attend church more regularly than do Protestants. To this end, 333 undergraduate students in the faculty of Social and Health Science at the University of Ulster at Coleraine and Jordanstown were surveyed. For both Catholics and Protestants, attitudes were a stronger determinant of intentions to attend church than were their perceptions of normative and control influences. Of more importance, however, was the finding that the predictive power of the model was enhanced for the Protestant group. This would seem to suggest that for Catholics, church-attending behaviour may not be so much one of reasoned action but perhaps rather more one of habit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-305
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Oct 1996


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