Event Title

"The Effect of Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals on Catholic Higher Education in the United States "

Presenter Information

Sarah McDonald, Marymount University

Date

April 2020

Description

Previous literature has indicated that the negative publicity due to Catholic sex abuse scandals is related to a decline in Catholic religious participation as demonstrated through a decline in enrollment at Catholic primary and secondary schools. Our research adds to the literature by exploring the relationship between negative publicity due to Catholic sex abuse scandals and enrollment in Catholic institutions of higher education. We approach the problem within an economic framework, conceptualizing enrollment as the demand for higher education. We conduct a diocese-level multiple regression and find that increases in negative publicity due to Catholic sex abuse scandals are not significantly associated with changes in enrollment in Catholic institutions of higher education; however, a small sample of Catholic seminaries only show a slight, significant negative association with negative publicity. The outcomes of this research have important implications for admissions professionals at institutions of Catholic higher education.

Comments

This oral presentation is based on an individual research project.

Presentation Type

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"The Effect of Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals on Catholic Higher Education in the United States "

Previous literature has indicated that the negative publicity due to Catholic sex abuse scandals is related to a decline in Catholic religious participation as demonstrated through a decline in enrollment at Catholic primary and secondary schools. Our research adds to the literature by exploring the relationship between negative publicity due to Catholic sex abuse scandals and enrollment in Catholic institutions of higher education. We approach the problem within an economic framework, conceptualizing enrollment as the demand for higher education. We conduct a diocese-level multiple regression and find that increases in negative publicity due to Catholic sex abuse scandals are not significantly associated with changes in enrollment in Catholic institutions of higher education; however, a small sample of Catholic seminaries only show a slight, significant negative association with negative publicity. The outcomes of this research have important implications for admissions professionals at institutions of Catholic higher education.