Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)




Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology

Committee Director

W. Larry Ventis

Committee Member

Leonard Holmes

Committee Member

Michael Stutts

Committee Member

Curtis K. Greaves

Committee Member

Janice Zeman


The goal of this study was to examine whether there is an underlying consistency between college students' approaches to religion and their approaches to higher education. A sample of 234 undergraduate students completed the Religious Life Inventory (Batson, Schoenrade, & Ventis, 1993), which assesses orientation to religion, and the Academic Attitude Scale (Wong, 1998), which identifies factors that motivate students to pursue higher education. The three dimensions (Means, End, and Quest) extracted from the Religious Life Inventory were compared to the six subscales (Intrinsic, Instrumental, Personal Development, External Pressure, Social Interest, No Better Option) of the Academic Attitude Scale to determine if significant positive relationships exist between aspects of students' religious orientation and specific factors influencing their decision to pursue higher education. To further assess consistency between approaches to religion and higher education, scores on the Religious Life Inventory and Academic Attitude Scale were compared to scores on the Christian/Humanist Implicit Association Test (Ventis, Ball, & Viggiano, 2010) and on the Need for Cognition Scale (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982).


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.


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