Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Lisa Langdon Koch


Research Question: How is the commitment of Spaniards to Catholicism changing with younger generations? And why is this relevant given Spain’s deep roots with the religion?

The Catholic Church and Spain have been highly involved with each other for centuries. It is possible that the Church’s controversies and conservative values are distancing young members from pursuing a stronger relationship with their faith. I predicted that more young Spanish Catholics’ commitment to the Church was wavering because of three potential reasons: increased security and education, child sex abuse scandals involving clergymen, and the institution’s outdated attitudes. I conducted a study with nine respondents, all young female Spanish adults with Catholic parents that are involved with the religion. The survey centered on their connection with, criticisms of, and future plans involving Catholicism. The respondents were not any more likely to be disassociated with Catholicism than any other age group even though studies have shown a downward trend in religious association by age, with younger people being less religious. I was able to conclude that Catholicism is on the decline in Spain demographically, but not necessarily with young people. Regardless, the Church retains a substantial amount of cultural and institutional influence in the state.