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Detroit Area Study, 1958: The Religious Factor (ICPSR 7279)

Principal Investigator(s):


This study of 656 respondents in the Detroit metropolitan area provides information on their religious attitudes and activities, as well as their economic and political attitudes and behavior. Respondents were asked about their belief in God and in life after death, the effects of their religious beliefs on their political beliefs, and the kinds of issues religious leaders should take a public stand on. Several questions probed respondents' views of other religious groups, as well as their attitudes on such issues as gambling, birth control, and the use of alcohol. Other topics covered include: information about respondents' economic behaviors such as saving and purchases on installment plans, respondents' opinions of government take-over of large industries and greater involvement in education and housing, respondents' attitudes toward income-earning work, science, degree of free speech, and racial equity, inter-group images, family and child-rearing patterns, welfare legislation, civil liberties, international relations, legislation on moral issues, doctrinal orthodoxy, devotionalism, and the effects of religion on politics as well as on daily life. Demographic variables specify age, sex, race, education, place of birth, marital status, number of children, length of time at present residence, religion, political party affiliation, income, occupation, original nationality of husband's and wife's family, home ownership, social class identification, and length of residence in the Detroit area.

More information about the Detroit Area Studies project is available on this Web site.

Series: Detroit Area Studies Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


Lenski, Gerhard. Detroit Area Study, 1958: The Religious Factor. ICPSR07279-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-02-07.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   birth control, Catholics, child rearing, cities, economic behavior, families, family life, freedom of speech, gambling, political affiliation, political attitudes, political participation, politics, Protestants, racial attitudes, religion, religious attitudes, religious behavior, religious beliefs, religious doctrines, work attitudes

Geographic Coverage:   Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1958

Date of Collection:  

  • 1958

Data Types:   survey data


Sample:   A total of 656 respondents in the Detroit metropolitan area in 1958. Further sampling information may be found in the ICPSR codebook.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview

Data Source:

personal interviews

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2013-02-07 SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files have been updated in the collection adding value and variable labels. The codebook has been updated.

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