The studies that examined youth problem behaviors as the key outcome of interest typically used large national data sets, and measures of religiosity are limited to one or two single-item measurestypically attendance and importance or salience of religion (in youths lives). However, most studies of other youth outcomes (including developmental, psychological, social, and academic outcomes) use multiple single-item measures (typically attendance, importance/salience, and participation in youth religious activities) or multi-item scales that incorporate various dimensions of religiosity (e.g., attendance, importance, and ritualistic aspects, like prayer). In two studies, measures of parent and family religiosity are used.
In some of the smaller-scale studies, measures are developed with the social context of the study population in mind. For example, one differentiating aspect of these measures is the inclusion of the degree to which youth embraced religious beliefs. Grant et al. (2000) suggest that measuring this construct is important given that youth living in poverty-distressed areas may be at increased risk of disconnection or rejection of God as a way to cope with or understand their marginalized position.