Journal articles on deconversion

I only have the abstract for this, but the 7 steps towards irreligion seem right to me

A review and conceptual model of the research on doubt, disaffiliation, and related religious changes

Fisher, Adam R.Psychology of Religion and Spirituality; Washington Vol. 9, Iss. 4, (Nov 2017): 358.

Abstract

This essay reviews the research in psychology, as well as anthropology, religious studies, and sociology on changes related to exiting religion, and organizes the relevant constructs into a conceptual model to illustrate a process that an individual transitioning toward irreligion may experience. Specific constructs examined include questioning, doubt, reconfiguration of faith, switching, changes to irreligious identities or “deconversion,” disaffiliation, and opposition to previously held religious beliefs. Limitations and problems regarding the constructs and accompanying research are discussed utilizing recent advances in the literature such as Cragun and Hammer’s (2011) work on proreligious hegemony and bias in terminology. Finally, suggestions for future research are discussed, and implications for clinicians working with individuals experiencing religious changes are outlined.



For clarity, the seven stages in the process are as follows:
  • questioning
  • doubt
  • reconfiguration of faith
  • switching (by which he seems to mean moving to another expression of belief e.g. transferring to another church)
  • change to irreligious identities or “deconversion”
  • disaffiliation (leaving church)
  • opposition to previously held religious beliefs
I haven't read the full article. If anyone has access through a university database I'd love to read more.
 
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Digital Irreligion: Christian Deconversion in an Online Community

Chelsea Starr Kristin Waldo Matthew Kauffman

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Volume 58, Issue 2

First published: 10 April 2019

Abstract

What is the role of the Internet in a possible trend toward secularization in the United States? This case study seeks to elucidate the process of online deconversion by examining religious exit narratives (called “extimonies” by participants) as posted in a forum for ex‐Christians from 2005 to 2017. Echoing Mauss and Ebaugh, deconverts on the site went through a role exit involving a three‐part, but intertwined, intellectual, emotional, and social process. The online community provided an interactional space for them to construct and practice new secular identities, to explore doubts and process emotions arising from the deconversion process, and to prepare themselves for offline interactions with believers. This case study also suggests that the Internet and online communities may provide spaces for the highly religiously committed to explore deconversion and role alternatives.


So there you go...
 
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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Religious (Dis)Affiliation and Depressive Symptomatology

Matthew May

First Published, Society and Mental Health, December 29, 2017

Abstract

Religious affiliation is generally associated with better mental health. The nonreligious, however, currently constitute one of the fastest-growing religious categories in the United States. Since most of the nonreligious were raised in religious homes, their growth raises important questions about the mental health of those who consider dropping out of religion. In this article, I use longitudinal data from the Portraits of American Life Study to examine the impact of religious affiliation on mental health. Specifically, I compare individuals who dropped out of religion (leavers) with individuals who considered dropping out (stayers) and individuals who are more consistent in their religious (stable affiliates) and nonreligious (stable Nones) affiliations. I find that stayers experience more depressive symptoms than any other group and that they experience a greater increase in depressive symptoms over time. My findings are consistent with identity theories in sociology, and they provide evidence that a strong religious or secular identity is an important contributor to mental health.




The bold yellow text is my highlight. Staying in when you've deconverted is bad for your health.
 
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The psychology of nonbelievers

Filip Uzarevic, Thomas J.Coleman III

Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 40, August 2021, Pages 131-138

Highlights

  • Nonbelief relates to open-minded and analytic thinking styles, which likely interacts with cultural influences.
  • Nonbelievers endorse a variety of beliefs and worldviews, such as rationalistic and humanistic ideologies that may serve compensatory functions.
  • Nonbelievers report meaningful and healthy lives, and the (non)religion-health curvilinear relationship is supported across various contexts.
  • Nonbelievers can show prejudice toward ideological opponents, but its scope is contextual and limited.
Abstract

Contrary to some conceptualizations, nonbelievers are more than simply those scoring low on religiosity scales. They seem to be characterized by analytic, flexible, and open-minded social-cognitive attributes, although this may interact with sociocultural levels of religiosity. This paper demonstrates that nonbelief, at least in the West, tends to coincide with specific worldviews, namely valuing rationality and science, as well as humanistic and liberal values. Furthermore, nonbelievers seem to parallel believers in various indicators of health. Finally, as all ideologists, nonbelievers may hold prejudicial attitudes toward groups perceived as threatening their (secular) worldviews, although this has some limits. Global increases in secularity make the nascent psychological study of nonbelievers and nonreligious worldviews an important research programme.
 
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Intelligence and religious disbelief in the United States

Tatiene C.Souza; Francisco Cribari–Neto

Intelligence, Volume 68, May–June 2018, Pages 48-57

Highlights

  • We estimate the impact of intelligence on religious disbelief in the U.S.
  • The impact is strictly increasing with average intelligence.
  • The impact is stronger the Extended Bible Belt.
  • There is a ‘hurdle effect’ that only takes place in the most religious area of the U.S.
  • If average intelligence in all fifty states were equal to the maximal value there would be an increase of approximately 20% in the number of atheists.
Abstract

We estimate the net effect of intelligence on the prevalence of atheists in the United States. We evaluate such an effect both at the mean and at different quantiles of the conditional distribution of the proportion of atheists using data on all fifty U.S. states. The results show that the net effect of intelligence on religious disbelief is strictly increasing. This pattern is different from that found elsewhere (Cribari-Neto and Souza, 2013) using data from over 100 countries in which the effect peaks and then weakens. We show that in the U.S. the effect is also stronger outside what we call the ‘Extended Bible Belt’. Our results also point to the existence of a ‘hurdle effect’ that only takes place the U.S. most religious area. In that area, the effect of average intelligence on the prevalence of religious disbelievers, albeit positive, loses strength above the conditional median, i.e., where there already are more atheists. Such a loss in strength above the conditional median does not happen in the rest of the country.


Just a point - they aren't saying that intelligence is increasing. It's the correlation between intelligence and religious disbelief they are referring to. (Basically as intelligence increases, likelihood of religious disbelief increases)
 
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Breaking up with Jesus: a phenomenological exploration of the experience of deconversion from an Evangelical Christian faith to Atheism

Karen Adriana Lee & Peter Madsen Gubi

Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Volume 22, 2019 - Issue 2

This study examines the experience of deconversion from an Evangelical Christian faith to Atheism in the UK. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants and the data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The resulting superordinate themes emerged: Process of Deconversion; Post Deconversion Issues; What Helped and Did Not Help. The findings are supportive of similar research conducted on deconversion but are from the UK, rather than from a largely American, perspective. The underlying reason for deconversion is found to be cognitive dissonance and, as such, deconversion is a rational and intellectual process. Helping professionals need to convey a non-judgemental attitude, being understanding, sympathetic, supportive and kind.

Emphasis (yellow text) mine
 
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@Captain Cassidy and anyone else interested - you can usually get the full papers off Google Scholar. I can't access the full version of the first one I posted.
 

Chiropter

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I've never attempted to attach a file before, but here's a PDF copy of the first article, assuming it posts correctly.
 

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Religious (Dis)Affiliation and Depressive Symptomatology

Matthew May

First Published, Society and Mental Health, December 29, 2017

Abstract

Religious affiliation is generally associated with better mental health. The nonreligious, however, currently constitute one of the fastest-growing religious categories in the United States. Since most of the nonreligious were raised in religious homes, their growth raises important questions about the mental health of those who consider dropping out of religion. In this article, I use longitudinal data from the Portraits of American Life Study to examine the impact of religious affiliation on mental health. Specifically, I compare individuals who dropped out of religion (leavers) with individuals who considered dropping out (stayers) and individuals who are more consistent in their religious (stable affiliates) and nonreligious (stable Nones) affiliations. I find that stayers experience more depressive symptoms than any other group and that they experience a greater increase in depressive symptoms over time. My findings are consistent with identity theories in sociology, and they provide evidence that a strong religious or secular identity is an important contributor to mental health.




The bold yellow text is my highlight. Staying in when you've deconverted is bad for your health.
Hmm.... speaking as one, tbh I haven't felt much depressive symptoms caused by religion-related identity, even though I have deconverted around 3.5 years ago. Depressive feelings due to other things, like financial situation and career/the future? Definitely yes :xd:

At first, in the first and second year, kinda yes. It was also the time when I frequented atheistic and non-religious spaces such as r/atheism, debunking sites, and so on. But as the time goes on, eventually I just don't care about it anymore. I just like.... more lenient towards it. Not angry or frustrated or something like that. I'm neutral nowadays, and sometimes, I can see why religion is enticing and comfy for those who really believe in it, and kinda wished I could too.

Is it actually a sign that I'm slowly going back to belief? I still don't believe on clear superstitions like spirit, soul, afterlife, and so on, and my outlook on life is still largely secular. But religious stuff no longer bothers me like it did one or two years ago. I'm more receptive and willing to listen to sermons nowadays, that is, my mind doesn't always on the opposite and not in the mode to debunk it. I can still note some things that show Christianity's faults, but oddly enough, they don't bother me.

Not gonna lie, lately I think progressive Christianity can still fit me. And my church kinda is, at least compared to fundie churches. So.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Or maybe I'm just weird, as usual. :xd:
 

Chiropter

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Hmm.... speaking as one, tbh I haven't felt much depressive symptoms caused by religion-related identity, even though I have deconverted around 3.5 years ago. Depressive feelings due to other things, like financial situation and career/the future? Definitely yes :xd:

At first, in the first and second year, kinda yes. It was also the time when I frequented atheistic and non-religious spaces such as r/atheism, debunking sites, and so on. But as the time goes on, eventually I just don't care about it anymore. I just like.... more lenient towards it. Not angry or frustrated or something like that. I'm neutral nowadays, and sometimes, I can see why religion is enticing and comfy for those who really believe in it, and kinda wished I could too.

Is it actually a sign that I'm slowly going back to belief? I still don't believe on clear superstitions like spirit, soul, afterlife, and so on, and my outlook on life is still largely secular. But religious stuff no longer bothers me like it did one or two years ago. I'm more receptive and willing to listen to sermons nowadays, that is, my mind doesn't always on the opposite and not in the mode to debunk it. I can still note some things that show Christianity's faults, but oddly enough, they don't bother me.

Not gonna lie, lately I think progressive Christianity can still fit me. And my church kinda is, at least compared to fundie churches. So.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Or maybe I'm just weird, as usual. :xd:
You do you! You're not obligated to pretend you're holding certain opinions or emotions if you don't actually think that way. It's fine if religious services don't bother you. That seems healthier for you than being angry and frustrated all the time, especially when you're still living with religious family.

You're also in a different culture than those of us in the US. I see the direct harm caused by performative Christians in government and other positions of authority. That makes me push back harder at some of the more innocuous expressions of religion if I see them as inadvertently supporting something harmful.

Personally, I have mostly positive views of those in progressive Christianity. We don't share the same metaphysical beliefs, but I typically agree with them when it comes to how to treat people, what to prioritize in life, social justice, and political topics. I see the appeal of having a built in community too, and I'll admit I miss that at times. Church was far more harmful than beneficial for me, but there were good times too. If it works for you and isn't hurting people, then I see no harm in participating.

(Also, sci-hub is sketch)
 

Sandy

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Maybe I will become like (((Kevin))). Or maybe not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

On sci-hub: really? I use it all the time. So far have never had no problems. I can drop the link I usually use here.
 

Chiropter

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Maybe I will become like (((Kevin))). Or maybe not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

On sci-hub: really? I use it all the time. So far have never had no problems. I can drop the link I usually use here.
I should have been more specific. The website itself is secure AFAIK and very user friendly, but their collection methods are underhanded at best. I'm all for the Robin Hood approach of screwing over greedy publishers, but Sci-Hub has a negative effect on researchers, authors, and libraries. Whenever possible, it's better to go through legitimate sources that aren't stealing information and potentially funding Russian propaganda.

*shrug* The more you know...
 

Melody

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@Captain Cassidy and anyone else interested - you can usually get the full papers off Google Scholar. I can't access the full version of the first one I posted.
Thanks for these.

One of the random things that I sometimes miss of not being at university anymore is the access to articles. I remember when I was at the end of my student years that I would sometimes look up and store some articles through JStor and such just because at least now I still could! I toyed for a bit with keeping/getting a membership of the academic library but since I moved to another place it didn't seem that doable. And I don't think it even included the digital databases which was a bit of a shame so I decided against it.
 
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Melody

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Hmm.... speaking as one, tbh I haven't felt much depressive symptoms caused by religion-related identity, even though I have deconverted around 3.5 years ago. Depressive feelings due to other things, like financial situation and career/the future? Definitely yes :xd:

At first, in the first and second year, kinda yes. It was also the time when I frequented atheistic and non-religious spaces such as r/atheism, debunking sites, and so on. But as the time goes on, eventually I just don't care about it anymore. I just like.... more lenient towards it. Not angry or frustrated or something like that. I'm neutral nowadays, and sometimes, I can see why religion is enticing and comfy for those who really believe in it, and kinda wished I could too.

Is it actually a sign that I'm slowly going back to belief? I still don't believe on clear superstitions like spirit, soul, afterlife, and so on, and my outlook on life is still largely secular. But religious stuff no longer bothers me like it did one or two years ago. I'm more receptive and willing to listen to sermons nowadays, that is, my mind doesn't always on the opposite and not in the mode to debunk it. I can still note some things that show Christianity's faults, but oddly enough, they don't bother me.

Not gonna lie, lately I think progressive Christianity can still fit me. And my church kinda is, at least compared to fundie churches. So.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Or maybe I'm just weird, as usual. :xd:
I recognize this. When I was still in my doubting stage and the first years of being an atheist, I still felt very hurt and betrayed by my former religion and also religious people. But most of that has now mellowed out. Religious things tend to not be (as) triggering anymore and I do also have some nostalgic feelings to some things. As a non-believer I am not as susceptible to all the veiled manipulation stuff that hides in the theology/sermons/songs/whatever and that means I am able to enjoy some parts a little more even, because I refuse to be guilt tripped into anything anymore.

So songs that I might have enjoyed in the past but that also made me feel lacking in love and devotion towards Jesus are now songs that I might still enjoy melody-wise without the attached guilt. And I went to this Easter service last Sunday with family and I was mostly just a bit bemused and interested and enjoyed singing the classic hymns that I remembered. Church as a faithless person is a better experience for me because there's no strong emotional investment anymore, and that helps to keep my distance and composure. It helps that it's not the church from my childhood though, but a more progressive one that I am not in any way affiliated to. It's more of being a guest somewhere a few times a year and it's all but meaningless in that sense when it comes to emotional/community investment.

I think I would be more angry if I were to visit more fundie services because it would be more triggering. My uncle died a few months ago and the funeral service was mostly alright but there were some cringe parts also. And I was very happy that this is not a big part of my life anymore.
 

Melody

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Hmm.... speaking as one, tbh I haven't felt much depressive symptoms caused by religion-related identity, even though I have deconverted around 3.5 years ago. Depressive feelings due to other things, like financial situation and career/the future? Definitely yes :xd:

At first, in the first and second year, kinda yes. It was also the time when I frequented atheistic and non-religious spaces such as r/atheism, debunking sites, and so on. But as the time goes on, eventually I just don't care about it anymore. I just like.... more lenient towards it. Not angry or frustrated or something like that. I'm neutral nowadays, and sometimes, I can see why religion is enticing and comfy for those who really believe in it, and kinda wished I could too.

Is it actually a sign that I'm slowly going back to belief? I still don't believe on clear superstitions like spirit, soul, afterlife, and so on, and my outlook on life is still largely secular. But religious stuff no longer bothers me like it did one or two years ago. I'm more receptive and willing to listen to sermons nowadays, that is, my mind doesn't always on the opposite and not in the mode to debunk it. I can still note some things that show Christianity's faults, but oddly enough, they don't bother me.

Not gonna lie, lately I think progressive Christianity can still fit me. And my church kinda is, at least compared to fundie churches. So.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Or maybe I'm just weird, as usual. :xd:
I don't feel the exact same way as I am happy to be an atheist, but I recognize being more lenient towards Christians again. I do still sometimes miss the sense of purpose it gave me and of meaning. Being part of a bigger story as it were. I think the tumultous feelings that deconversion caused have settled mostly and that makes me less angry towards religion again. I can see that it can be helpful in building a community, in giving a sense of purpose, in support with hardships of life. I no longer believe that it is all true, but it can be helpful as well as unhelpful. People can feel loved and supported, but also trapped and for me it was mostly the latter, but I realize that is not true for everyone. It's a personal experience.

I had a discussion with my brother a while ago and I basically assured him that it's also possible to not believe parts of the Bible/theology as pure history or truth but that there are plenty of people that sort of keep faith in one box and science in another. Religion can be meaningfull for you, even if it's not all based in truth, but I still think it is good to recognize that. Fundies don't and can't and this is generally different for Progressives.