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Journal ArticleDOI

Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging Adult Religiosity: Attachment, Parental Beliefs, and Faith Support

TL;DR: The authors explored associations among emerging adult religiosity, perceived parental religiosity and perceived similarity to mother's and to father's religious beliefs, parental faith support, and parental attachment to fathers.
Abstract: Parental religiosity has been shown to predict child and adolescent religiosity, but the role of parents in emerging adult religiosity is largely unknown. We explored associations among emerging adult religiosity, perceived parental religiosity, perceived similarity to mother’s and to father’s religious beliefs, parental faith support, and parental attachment. Participants were 481 alumni of two Christian colleges and completed surveys online. Emerging adult religiosity (measured by Christian orthodoxy and intrinsic religiosity) was high and similar to parents’ religiosity. Perceived similarity to parents’ religious beliefs, faith support, and attachment to fathers predicted emerging adult religiosity. However, parental religiosity alone was a weak predictor and functioned as a negative suppressor variable when combined with similarity to parents’ beliefs and faith support. Findings underscore the importance of parental support and parent– child relationship dynamics more than the level of parental religiosity and point to possibly unique roles for mothers and fathers in emerging adult religiosity.

Summary (3 min read)

Introduction

  • It has been accepted for inclusion in Faculty Journal Articles by an authorized administrator of Bucknell Digital Commons.
  • The authors unique sample will enrich existing research on emerging adults in two important ways.

Theoretical and Empirical Framework for Emerging Adult Religiosity

  • The authors participants attended colleges whose missions include explicit references to shaping students’ worldviews.
  • Erikson (1968) posited that identity formation is enhanced by participation in a religious group or social institution that provides transcendent meaning.
  • To Fowler, adolescents have synthetic-conventional faith, or a conforming, noncritical faith.
  • Perhaps inconsistent reports of emerging adult religious behavior contribute to the impression that the emerging adult’s overall religiosity has declined since adolescence (Smith, 2009).
  • One study found that college females placed more importance than males on religious beliefs but both genders showed a decline in religious behavior (Stoppa & Lefkowitz, 2010).

Emerging Adult Relationships With Parents: Attachment, Gender, and Parental Perception

  • Given the role of the family in religious socialization, the authors felt it essential to investigate emerging adults’ religiosity in the context of the parental attachment relationship.
  • Classic attachment theory claims that most young adults have individuated from their families of origin but continue to derive security from their relationships with their parents (Ainsworth, 1989).
  • Moreover, warmth and acceptance in the parent–child relationship (yers, 1996; Bao, Whitbeck, Hoyt, & Conger, 1999; Schwartz, 2006) may be equally important as parental religiosity for the child’s religiosity.
  • Among emerging adults, spiritual support from mothers and fathers was positively associated with emerging adults feeling a close connection to a higher power (Desrosiers, Kelley, & Miller, 2010).

The Current Study

  • To counter the tendency in the literature to draw conclusions from limited or singular measures, the authors employed several different measures of religiosity.
  • A major outcome variable was the Christian Orthodoxy Scale (Fullerton & Hunsberger, 1982), chosen for its suitability for their Christian-college sample and because it allows us to test prior claims that emerging adults prefer individually derived and less orthodox beliefs.
  • Another major outcome variable was the widely used measure of intrinsic religious orientation from the Intrinsic/ Extrinsic-Revised Scale (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989), which assessed how their emerging adults internalize and are motivated by their religious faith.

Participants

  • The authors sample was comprised of college alumni from two evangelical Christian liberal arts colleges, one located in New England and one in the Midwest.
  • Both schools belong to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), an organization of 110 evangelical institutions of higher learning.
  • The entire graduating classes of 2006 and 2008 were, during the summer of 2008, asked via e-mail to participate in a study about life after college.
  • The majority (89%) identified themselves as Protestant and the remainder described themselves as Catholic, Jewish, other religious tradition, or not religious.

Measures

  • The authors assessed participants’ religiosity in four ways.
  • These first two variables, general religiosity and religious identity, will be reported solely to reflect the degree of religiosity in their sample.
  • Lastly, the authors used the eight items that tap intrinsic religiosity from the I/E-Revised Scale (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989), which also has strong psychometric properties (in this sample, .81) and assesses the degree to which one’s faith is internalized and central to everyday life.
  • Participants rated their level of attachment with their parents on the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA; Armsden & Greenberg, 1987).

Procedure

  • Graduates of the classes of 2006 and 2008 received a recruitment e-mail that explained the purpose of the study and provided a link to an online survey.
  • If the alumni clicked on the link, they were automatically guided through an informed consent process before beginning the survey.
  • The survey took approximately one hour to complete.

Results

  • To test their hypotheses, the authors provide descriptive analyses of emerging adult and parental religiosity, then correlational analyses between emerging adult and parent variables, and finally regression analyses to test predictors of emerging adult religiosity.
  • Within their presentation of regressions, the authors show that perceived parental religiosity functions as a “negative suppressor” variable (Garbin, 2011; Lancaster, 1999).
  • The authors tested for simple and multiple suppression using the bootstrapping procedure recommended by Preacher and Hayes (2008), a procedure designed to estimate and test the sampling distribution of the indirect effect.

Descriptive Analyses

  • The emerging adults in their sample generally displayed high levels of religious belief and behavior.
  • Their mean general religiosity score was 15.49 out of 17 (SD 2.19); nearly half (46%) of participants reported the maximum score of 17, indicating high attendance, importance, and interest in religion.
  • (In comparison, Fullerton and Hunsberger [1982] found that the average Christian Orthodoxy score across many samples of adolescents and young adults ranged from 112 to 130.).
  • Parent scores on the IPPA ranged between 25 and 125, with lower scores indicating higher attachment.

Correlational Analyses

  • Associations among all emerging adult religiosity, parental religiosity, parental religious context, and parental attachment variables were explored using Pearson correlations (see Table 1).
  • Correlations were in the expected positive direction between emerging adult religiosity and perceived parental religiosity, and coefficients ranged in magnitude from .11 to .57 (p .01).
  • Christian orthodoxy and intrinsic religiosity scores were significantly associated with parent variables such as similarity with parents’ beliefs (r .32 to .45) and perceived faith support by parents (r .33 to .38).

Regression Analyses Predicting Emerging Adult Religiosity

  • Christian Orthodoxy and intrinsic religiosity were chosen as key indicators of emerging adult religiosity because they are well-established, central measures of religiosity for Christian samples.
  • Two interaction variables—the interaction between perceived similarity to mother’s beliefs and mother attachment and between perceived similarity to father’s beliefs and father attachment—were included to test whether attachment moderates the parental religiosityemerging adult religiosity relationship.
  • Correlation coefficients were inspected for multicollinearity and no tolerance values were below .20.
  • Overall, the model accounted for 26% of the variance in emerging adults’.

Analyses for Suppressor Effects

  • Because these initial regression models found that parent religiosity was surprisingly a negative predictor of emerging adult religiosity, the authors used a procedure suggested by Garbin (2011) to identify specific variables that could be functioning in their analyses as suppressor variables.
  • Thus, parental religiosity proved to be a more powerful predictor of emerging adult orthodoxy when combined with similarity to mother’s and father’s religious beliefs.
  • In summary, even though parental religiosity was weakly positively correlated with Christian orthodoxy and intrinsic religiosity, it increased the predictive power of perceived faith support and of similarity to mother’s and to father’s religious beliefs when used together in a regression equation.
  • It exercised its effect by becoming a negative predictor, parceling out extraneous error variance from the remaining variables.

Discussion

  • For their sample of emerging adults who graduated from Christian colleges, religion continues to be an important part of their lives.
  • Yet, in one of their most important findings, parental religiosity by itself did not predict emerging adult religiosity as strongly as expected; instead, it seemed to function indirectly through faith support and perceived similarity.
  • The fact that some emerging adults may seek to differentiate themselves from their parents’ beliefs while others may maintain the beliefs they were raised with suggests how complex emerging adult religiosity can be.
  • They warrant more attention, particularly in nationally representative data sets.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Investigating adults' perceptions of the influence of their parents, grandparents, and siblings on their religious and spiritual lives and examining the extent to which those perceptions are associated with subjective religiosity, subjective spirituality, religious importance, and commitment to religious socialization among a community sample of urban-residing African American adults in the Midwest and Northeast revealed that, on average, parents, Grandmothers and siblings positively influenced adults' religious commitment and values.
Abstract: The family is the principal context for religious and spiritual socialization. Although religion remains a central force in the lives of most African Americans, research has failed to explore the role and impact of family on religious socialization within this population. This study addresses that gap in the literature by (1) exploring adults' perceptions of the influence of their parents, grandparents, and siblings on their religious and spiritual lives, and (2) examining the extent to which those perceptions are associated with subjective religiosity, subjective spirituality, religious importance, and commitment to religious socialization among a community sample of urban-residing African American adults in the Midwest and Northeast (N = 319). Findings revealed that, on average, parents, grandparents, and siblings positively influenced adults' religious commitment and values. However, mothers had the greatest positive influence on these outcomes. Religious commitment and values were differentially associated with family members as a function of the generation and gender of the family member. The implications of these findings are discussed.

57 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Fred Volk1, John C. Thomas1, Lisa S. Sosin1, Victoria Jacob1, Carolyn Moen1 
TL;DR: In this article, a serial mediation model with religiosity, moral disapproval, and perceived addiction mediating the relationship between childhood household religiosity and sexual shame was proposed to examine romantic partner relationship satisfaction and pornography use.
Abstract: This study adds two possible extensions to a previously supported model by proposing a serial mediation model with religiosity, moral disapproval, and perceived addiction mediating the relationship between childhood household religiosity and sexual shame The 358 participants are a subset of a larger study examining romantic partner relationship satisfaction and pornography use Participants included men and women who indicated intentionally viewing pornography within the six months prior to their participation Though the total effect of childhood household religiosity on sexual shame was not significant, the serial mediation model was supported Limitations, implications, and suggestions for further research are discussed

52 citations


Cites background or result from "Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging ..."

  • ...The scale used to measure Childhood Household Religiosity was a modified version of the Religious Commitment Inventory (RCI)....

    [...]

  • ...Religiosity was measured with the Religious Commitment Inventory (RCI), which is a measure of personal religiosity....

    [...]

  • ...We propose that extending the Religiosity-Moral Disapproval-Perceived Compulsivity mediation model for pornography users identified by Grubbs and colleagues (2015) is an important first step in understanding how to effectively work with religious clients who are struggling with their pornography use....

    [...]

  • ...The first extension of that model is to understand the developmental context of the users’ religiosity (i.e., Childhood Household Religiosity) as an antecedent to personal religiosity....

    [...]

  • ...In sum, we hypothesize that the Religiosity-Moral Disapproval-Perceived Compulsivity mediation model will be consistent with the most recent research (Grubbs et al., 2015), that Childhood Household Religiosity will be predictive of current Religiosity (Leonard et al., 2012; Martin et al., 2003; Petts, 2015), and that Childhood Household Religiosity will be predictive of Sexual Shame and that relationship will be mediated by the Religiosity-Moral Disapproval-Perceived Compulsivity sequence....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Substantial gains or losses in religiosity from childhood to adulthood are associated with substance use and misuse, and findings support the use of a life course approach to understanding the relationship between religiosity and substance use outcomes.

49 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The understudied role of fathers in African American families, the importance of examining religiosity as a multidimensional construct, and the utility of ethnic homogeneous designs for illuminating the implications of sociocultural factors in the development of African American youth are highlighted.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES To advance understanding of youth religiosity in its sociocultural context, this study examined the associations between parents' and adolescents' religious beliefs and practices and tested the roles of parent and youth gender and youth ethnic identity in these linkages. METHOD The sample included 130 two-parent, African American families. Adolescents (49% female) averaged 14.43 years old. Mothers, fathers, and adolescents were interviewed in their homes about their family and personal characteristics, including their religious beliefs. In a series of 7 nightly phone calls, adolescents reported on their daily practices, including time spent in religious practices (e.g., attending services, prayer), and parents reported on their time spent in religious practices with their adolescents. RESULTS Findings indicated that mothers' beliefs were linked to the beliefs of sons and daughters, but fathers' beliefs were only associated with the beliefs of sons. Mothers' practices were associated with youths' practices, but the link was stronger when mothers' held moderately strong religious beliefs. Fathers' practices were also linked to youth practices, but the association was stronger for daughters than for sons. CONCLUSIONS Findings highlight the understudied role of fathers in African American families, the importance of examining religiosity as a multidimensional construct, and the utility of ethnic homogeneous designs for illuminating the implications of sociocultural factors in the development of African American youth. (PsycINFO Database Record

22 citations

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TL;DR: An overview of simple and multiple mediation is provided and three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model are explored.
Abstract: Hypotheses involving mediation are common in the behavioral sciences. Mediation exists when a predictor affects a dependent variable indirectly through at least one intervening variable, or mediator. Methods to assess mediation involving multiple simultaneous mediators have received little attention in the methodological literature despite a clear need. We provide an overview of simple and multiple mediation and explore three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model. We present an illustrative example, assessing and contrasting potential mediators of the relationship between the helpfulness of socialization agents and job satisfaction. We also provide SAS and SPSS macros, as well as Mplus and LISREL syntax, to facilitate the use of these methods in applications.

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"Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging ..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...Given that a suppressor effect represents a type of mediation, bootstrapping was used to measure the indirect effects of the mediators, following Preacher and Hayes (2008)....

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  • ...We tested for simple and multiple suppression using the bootstrapping procedure recommended by Preacher and Hayes (2008), a procedure designed to estimate and test the sampling distribution of the indirect effect....

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01 Jan 1968
TL;DR: Erikson as mentioned in this paper describes a process that is located both in the core of the individual and in the inner space of the communal culture, and discusses the connection between individual struggles and social order.
Abstract: Identity, Erikson writes, is an unfathomable as it is all-pervasive. It deals with a process that is located both in the core of the individual and in the core of the communal culture. As the culture changes, new kinds of identity questions arise-Erikson comments, for example, on issues of social protest and changing gender roles that were particular to the 1960s. Representing two decades of groundbreaking work, the essays are not so much a systematic formulation of theory as an evolving report that is both clinical and theoretical. The subjects range from "creative confusion" in two famous lives-the dramatist George Bernard Shaw and the philosopher William James-to the connection between individual struggles and social order. "Race and the Wider Identity" and the controversial "Womanhood and the Inner Space" are included in the collection.

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations that exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties.
Abstract: Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented. Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties.

11,669 citations


"Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Establishing a coherent worldview, including navigating religious and spiritual beliefs, is a major developmental task during emerging adulthood (roughly 18–25 years of age; Arnett, 2000)....

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  • ...Keywords: emerging adulthood, religiosity, religious beliefs, parental attachment, gender Establishing a coherent worldview, including navigating religious and spiritual beliefs, is a major developmental task during emerging adulthood (roughly 18–25 years of age; Arnett, 2000)....

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  • ...Future studies should explore religiosity in conjunction with the worlds of peers, work, and romantic relationships, other key areas of identity development outlined by Arnett (2000)....

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01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: In this paper, emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25, and evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adults are a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations.
Abstract: Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented, Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role. exploration during the late teens and twenties.

10,040 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

5,199 citations


"Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Erikson (1968) posited that identity formation is enhanced by participation in a religious group or social institution that provides transcendent meaning....

    [...]

Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What are the future works mentioned in the paper "Parent-child dynamics and emerging adult religiosity: attachment, parental beliefs, and faith support" ?

Future research in this area could pursue several new directions ( for an excellent review see Barry, Nelson, Davarya, & Urry, 2010 ). Third, further research into religiosity as a critical component of emerging adult development should explore the many contexts emerging adults inhabit while acknowledging the continued role of parents. Future studies should explore religiosity in conjunction with the worlds of peers, work, and romantic relationships, other key areas of identity development outlined by Arnett ( 2000 ). Second, longitudinal research that follows emerging adults further beyond college graduation would bolster their conclusion that a segment of the emerging adult population maintains high religiosity as well as commonality with their parents.