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Family Structure, Family Disruption, and Profiles of Adolescent Religiosity

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Abstract

Youth in the United States are experiencing increasing numbers of family transitions as parents move in and out of marriages and cohabiting relationships. Using three waves of survey data from the National Study of Youth and Religion, I examine the relationship between family structure, parental breakup, and adolescent religiosity. A person-centered measure of the religiosity of adolescents is used to identify youth as Abiders, Adapters, Assenters, Avoiders, or Atheists and to assess movement of youth between the religious profiles between 2003 and 2008. Wave 1 family structure is not significantly related to religious change among adolescents at Wave 3. In contrast, the experience of a parental breakup is related to a change in religious profiles over time. Parental breakup is associated with religious decline among Abiders and Adapters, youth characterized by high levels of religious salience. However, among Assenters who are marginally tied to religion, a parental breakup or divorce is associated with increased religious engagement.

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... Parental divorce has been linked to institutional religious outcomes-like disaffiliation from a religious tradition and lower frequency of religious service attendance (Lawton and Bures 2001;Zhai et al. 2007)-but the connection to more personal expressions of faith like one's closeness to God, frequency of prayer, or religious salience is less clear. Zhai and colleagues (2007) find no association between parental divorce and personal religious expression, but others have found parental divorce to be predictive of declines in religious salience (Denton 2012;Regnerus and Uecker 2006). Parental divorce may actually increase the likelihood of identifying as "spiritual, but not religious" (Zhai et al. 2008). ...
... Parental divorce may actually increase the likelihood of identifying as "spiritual, but not religious" (Zhai et al. 2008). The effect of divorce may also be contingent on the amount of discord in the parental relationship (Ellison et al. 2011) or the religious profile of the youth when the divorce occurs (Denton 2012). Other studies not primarily focused on the influence of parental divorce on religious outcomes likewise find that biological two-parent families produce the most religious offspring-at least on some outcomes (Desmond, Morgan, and Kikuchi 2010;Myers 1996;Regnerus and Uecker 2006;Smith and Denton 2005;Uecker, Regnerus, and Vaaler 2007). ...
... Put another way, divorce may disqualify parents as spiritual models or spiritual exemplars. Children of divorced parents also may not be able to reconcile religious teachings that emphasize the sanctity of marriage with their own family experience and may devalue their religion as a means of resolving such cognitive dissonance, a process referred to as sacred loss or desecration (Denton 2012;Ellison et al. 2011;Mahoney et al. 2003). ...
Article
Parental divorce has been linked to religious outcomes in adulthood. Previous research has not adequately accounted for parental religious characteristics or subsequent family context, namely whether one's custodial parent remarries. Using pooled data from three waves of the General Social Survey, we examine the relationships among parental divorce, subsequent family structure, and religiosity in adulthood. Growing up in a single-parent family-but not a stepparent family-is positively associated with religious disaffiliation and religious switching and negatively associated with regular religious attendance. Accounting for parental religious characteristics, however, explains sizable proportions of these relationships. Accounting for parental religious affiliation and attendance, growing up with a single parent does not significantly affect religious attendance. Parental religiosity also moderates the relationship between growing up with a single parent and religious attendance: being raised in a single-parent home has a negative effect on religious attendance among adults who had two religiously involved parents.
... Sickness and poverty in Africa and Latin America are similarly cited as reasons for the growth of religiosity-in particular a deeply experiential religiosity-in those areas (Chesnut 1997;Norris and Inglehart 2004). Finally, there is evidence from the United States that in certain cases, hardship and poor family environments can enhance religiosity (Denton 2012;Granqvist 1998Granqvist , 2003Kirkpatrick and Shaver 1990). In those cases, positive changes in religiosity tend to occur suddenly, in significant conversions or "faith pinnacle" moments. ...
... Over the life course, U.S. young adults illustrate diverse trajectories of religiosity (Denton 2012;Petts 2009). Their religious changes are closely linked to important transitions such as going to college, getting married, and starting families (Regnerus and Uecker 2006;Sandomirsky and Wilson 1990;Sherkat and Ellison 1999;Sherkat and Wilson 1995;Uecker et al. 2007). ...
... However, there is also evidence that the relationship between stress and religiosity is not straightforward, but rather depends upon the type of stress in question as well as the aspect of religiosity under scrutiny. Family disruptions and breakups, and poor parental relationships more generally, have been shown to correlate negatively with religious involvement in later life (Denton 2012;Granqvist 2003;Kirkpatrick 2005;Kirkpatrick and Shaver 1990;Petts 2009;Smith et al. 2011;Stokes and Regnerus 2009;Uecker et al. 2007;Zhai et al. 2007). Yet studies also show that those with insecure parental attachments are more likely to undergo sudden religious conversions as adults (Granqvist 1998(Granqvist , 2003Kirkpatrick and Shaver 1990). ...
Article
Religious beliefs often persist among unaffiliated young adults, and certain beliefs about God have been shown to support subjective well-being. Yet we know much less about the persistence or psychological impact of religious experiences, specifically miracles from God. I conceive of such experiences as faith pinnacle moments which express and reinvigorate the individual's reciprocal bond with God, frequently occur in response to certain types of stress, and support well-being by solidifying one's sense of that bond. My results show that net of institutional religiosity, young adults who experience stress from traumas are more likely to report miracles. This suggests that these reports often refer to healings or similar interventions. Stress from family breakups, however, is negatively correlated with miracles, presumably since these disruptions damage the bond with God due to the established connection between parental relationships and perceived relationship with God. Finally, miracles are positively correlated with life satisfaction and partially protect against the negative effects of stress on life satisfaction.
... For example, parental religious homogamy and marital quality is predictive of religious transmission (Myers 1996). Family structure, parental divorce, and parental conflict have all been identified as factors related to degree of religiousness in emerging adulthood (Denton 2012;Denton and Culver 2015;Ellison et al. 2011). It is less clear, however, how those and other family factors may relate to varying types of religious identities for emerging adults. ...
... This intergenerational pattern is strongest when both parents frequently attend religious services together, adhere to the same religious denomination, and express that religion is high in importance (Smith and Snell 2009;Spilman et al. 2013). Furthermore, Denton (2012) found emerging adults with the highest level of religiosity across all measures had parents who were highly religious and engaged in religious practices. Interestingly, this intergenerational transmission of religious values is not limited to the highly religious. ...
... Interestingly, this intergenerational transmission of religious values is not limited to the highly religious. Longitudinal evidence also demonstrates parents that consistently demonstrate that religion is not valued tend towards emerging adult offspring who also strongly oppose a religious world view (Bengtson 2013;Denton 2012). For example, in a longitudinal analysis, 68% of young adults adopted the same religious tradition as their parents while 63% of non-affiliated parents had young adults who followed suit. ...
Article
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Emerging or young adulthood is a time of identity exploration across a number of domains. Those domains include work, relationships, and beliefs and values. Specifically, emerging adults are tasked with differentiating religious beliefs and values from those of their parents. Much evidence suggests that emerging adults adopt the religious or non-religious ideals they were raised with. Family structure, parental divorce, parental marital quality and parental conflict have all been identified as factors related to degree of religiousness in emerging adulthood. It is less clear how those and other family factors may relate to types of religious identity. Using a subsample of wave 3 of the National Survey of Youth and Religion, researchers identified six types of religiousness in emerging adulthood. To our knowledge, family factors related to this typology have not been thoroughly investigated. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study is to further explore and describe the family factors related to the six types of religiousness in emerging adulthood using a purposive sample of 49 college students from a large public university in the United States. Qualitative analyses describe themes related to five of the six types. Future directions are discussed.
... This analysis draws on data from three waves of the National Survey of Children's Health (2003,2007,(2011)(2012) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics. This survey is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Maternal and Child Health Bureau (2005, 2012. The NSCH gathered a broad range of information, including demographics, health insurance coverage, health and functional status, health-care access, parental health status, family functioning, and community characteristics. ...
... The NSCH gathered a broad range of information, including demographics, health insurance coverage, health and functional status, health-care access, parental health status, family functioning, and community characteristics. The -2012 NSCH are each nationally representative samples of noninstitutionalized children and youth aged 0-17 living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each wave uses a complex survey design stratified by state, and in the case of the 2011-2012 wave, sample type as well. ...
... There are no instances where a chronic health condition exhibits a significant association in one direction in the merged models but is significantly associated in the opposite direction in any of the separate survey wave models. Table 3: Logistic regression models of children's chronic health conditions and never attending religious services (2011( -2012 While these findings give clear evidence that various chronic health conditions are significantly related to children's never attending religious services, multivariate models are necessary to ensure the relationship is robust. Table 3 displays the results of 21 separate logistic regression models (20 chronic health condition models and one model for children with no reported health conditions) using all three waves of the NSCH data (where applicable). ...
Preprint
Prior research consistently demonstrates greater religious involvement is associated with improved health outcomes for those with chronic health conditions. Fewer studies focus on how chronic health conditions influence religious service attendance rates and most focus on older Americans. Using three waves of a nationally representative sample of children in the United States, I test whether children with a chronic health condition never attend religious worship services at rates significantly higher than children without a condition. I also investigate variation in attendance rates across a broad range of conditions, something previously overlooked. Children with chronic health conditions are more likely to never attend religious worship services. Specifically, children with chronic health conditions that impede communication and social interaction are most likely to never attend. Despite shifts in prevalence these findings are stable over time. Implications for researchers, religious communities, families with children with chronic health conditions, and healthcare providers are discussed.
... Studies suggest that youth raised by married biological parents are most likely to be religious (e.g., Day et al. 2009;Myers 1996), but research on specific differences in adolescent religiosity by family structure have been mixed. For example, Myers (1996) finds that youth raised in stepfamilies have lower religiosity than those raised by biological parents, but other studies find a difference only between single-and two-parent families (Petts 2009;Uecker and Ellison 2012) and still others find no direct effect of family structure on youth religiosity (Denton 2012). Research also suggests that the influence of family structure on youth religiosity may vary by religious outcome (Desmond et al. 2010;Uecker and Ellison 2012;Zhai et al. 2007). ...
... That is, some family structures may be more conducive to providing spiritual modeling and capital perhaps due to greater acceptance within religious institutions or the presence of two spiritual exemplars as opposed to one (Bandura 1977;Edgell 2006;Wilcox et al. 2004;Zhai et al. 2007). Parental religious socialization may also vary in its influence on specific religious outcomes (i.e., public versus private), although research on these differences has been mixed (Denton 2012;Desmond et al. 2010;Uecker and Ellison 2012;Zhai et al. 2007). ...
... Previous research suggests that family structure may directly influence youth religiosity, arguing that youth raised by married biological parents are most likely to be religious (e.g., Day et al. 2009;Myers 1996). However, evidence from the literature suggests that this relationship is likely due to lower levels of parental religiosity in nontraditional families (Denton 2012;Uecker and Ellison 2012). Married parents are more religious (on average) than unmarried parents, perhaps due to an emphasis on a traditional family structure within religious institutions (Edgell 2006;Stolzenberg et al. 1995;Thornton et al. 1992;Wilcox et al. 2004). ...
Article
Many studies have explored the links between family structure, parental religiosity, and youth religiosity, but results across studies have been inconsistent and have largely ignored new diverse family forms. Using data on 2,320 youth and their parents from the National Study of Youth and Religion, this study focused on whether and why religious transmission from parents to youth varies among diverse family structures. Results suggest that family structure is not directly related to youth religious outcomes, but that the influence of parental religiosity on religious participation and religious salience (but not closeness to God or private religious practices) was weaker for youth raised in stepfamilies, never-married single-parent families, and cohabiting families than for those raised by married biological/adoptive parents. Results also suggest that less effective religious transmission within nontraditional families compared with traditional families is due (at least in part) to less effective religious socialization within these families.
... providing evidence that class identification based on these eight indicators will be nearly identical to those assigned using a 12-indicator analysis, or that the dimensions of religiosity measured by the four additional indicators are to some extent already well represented in the remaining eight indicators. This eight-indicator model is used in Pearce and Denton (2011) and Denton (2012), because this more parsimonious model allows for extension to latent transition analyses across multiple waves of the NSYR. 3 ...
... Macmillan and Eliason 2003;Pearce and Denton 2011;Petts 2009;Vermunt 2003), or how other variables related to membership in a given class or transitions between classes over time (cf. Denton 2012). Here, we provide one example by showing how mean values for a set of socioeconomic background characteristics vary by membership in each of the five classes of religiosity. ...
Article
Empirical studies of religion's role in society, especially those focused on individuals and analyzing survey data, conceptualize and measure religiosity on a single measure or a summary index of multiple measures. Other concepts, such as "lived religion," "believing without belonging," or "fuzzy fidelity," emphasize what scholars have noted for decades: humans are rarely consistently low, medium, or high across dimensions of religiosity including institutional involvement, private practice, salience, or belief. A method with great promise for identifying population patterns in how individuals combine types and levels of belief, practice, and personal religious salience is latent class analysis. In this paper, we use data from the first wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion's telephone survey to discuss how to select indicators of religiosity in an informed manner, as well as the implications of the number and types of indicators used for model fit. We identify five latent classes of religiosity among adolescents in the United States and their socio-demographic correlates. Our findings highlight the value of a person-centered approach to understanding how religion is lived by American adolescents.
... In addition, the profiles were significantly different in terms of both family and peer variables. Denton (2012) expanded on this work and found that parent-child relationship difficulties were related to changes in religiousness among adolescents -specifically, the two highest religiousness groups decreased in religious salience, while one of the groups lower in religiousness became more religious. ...
... While we do not have data that state that our participants did not go through a thoughtful meaning-making process, our data minimally suggest that social and familial factors might make fertile the grounds for religious change. These results are supported by the findings of Petts (2009) andDenton (2012), both of which found family variables to influence strength of child religiousness. Alternatively, it could be that those who are less inclined to be social are also less inclined to be religious. ...
Article
While research on the psychology of religion and spirituality has examined religious conversion, little research has examined social and familial variables that might play a role in conversion in adolescence. Longitudinal work examining concurrent conversion experiences - as opposed to retrospective reports - is particularly rare. In an examination of 209 parent-adolescent dyads, findings suggested that those who became religious at Time 2 had higher social competence at Time 1 than did apostates, whereas adolescents who were religious at both times had higher social competence, parent communication, and parent trust than apostates. Additionally, those who converted to their parent's religion at Time 2 were higher than apostates in Time 1 social competence and parent communication. Results point to the importance of considering social and familial factors in religious conversion.
... Together, these findings have often been referred to as evidence for "the long arm of childhood" (Hayward and Gorman 2004). Scholars in the area of religion have likewise adopted principles of life course thought, drawing connections between household structure and parental transitions during childhood and trajectories of early adult religiosity (Denton 2012;Petts 2009). ...
... First, none of the studies in Walker et al.'s (2009) recent review have prospectively examined religious or spiritual turning points over time. Rather, most articles use cross-sectional data to assess how current attitudes about God, spiritual/religious beliefs, or other aspects of spiritual functioning and/or religious participation are influenced by childhood events. 2 As Dyslin and Thomsen (2011:630) note, "any 'snapshot' of religiosity among abuse victims at a single point in time may 2 Several studies examining childhood stressors-more broadly conceived than victimization per se-have used longitudinal data to examine religious/spiritual change (see Manglos [2012] for the effects of illness and Denton [2012] and Manglos [2012] for the effects of household instability). These studies, however, focus on religious trajectories or events during adolescence and young adulthood; observation is censored beyond the age of 25 or 30. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article integrates life course and stress process perspectives to better understand the connections between early life victimization, hardship in adulthood, and religious turning points among middle-age Americans. I identified Christian “born-again” transformations as an empirical case, as this faith transition (1) is relatively commonplace in the American religious landscape and (2) makes direct claims concerning redemption and new life. Analyses use two-waves of panel data from a sample of American adults with retrospective childhood account, spanning 1995–2005. Among the men and women who were not born again at Wave 1, nearly 10 percent experienced a born-again turning point between Wave 1 and Wave 2. The individuals most likely to undergo this transition were those who faced the broadest forms of victimization during childhood. This association was partially explained by continued mistreatment experienced as adults. Though respondents victimized as children were at high risk of experiencing a broad range of adulthood stressors, few of these hardships predicted a born-again transformation.
... Research by Zhai et al. (2007Zhai et al. ( , 2008 found that youth who experience parental divorce report lower religious involvement and identity than their peers from intact families. Denton (2012) found a link between parental divorce and reduced religious engagement, but only among adolescents who had relatively high levels of religious engagement prior to the divorce. Young people who were more marginally attached to religion did not experience further religious disengagement in the wake of parental marital disruption. ...
... The Abiders and the Adapters are the two profiles who represent the highest levels of religious engagement and salience. Previous research (Denton 2012) shows that the more religiously engaged young people are, the more likely it is for their religiosity to be undermined by stressful life events such as parental divorce. This is a case of these highly engaged individuals having "the most to lose" in terms of religious engagement. ...
Article
This article examines racial differences in religious change and stability in the lives of adolescents and emerging adults following family disruption. Previous research suggests that highly religious youth are more likely to experience declines in religiosity following a parental breakup or divorce. This study finds that while this pattern holds true for white youth, African-American youth are not as prone to religious decline in the wake of family disruption. The study highlights the need to understand religious and family processes within their specific social contexts.
... The primary variable of interest was the subject's perceived level of religiosity. Previously, many attempts have been made to develop measurement instruments and procedures with which to measure consumer religiosity (Petts 2015;Denton 2012). However, most of these studies have been conducted within one culture, the United States. ...
Article
Full-text available
The authors investigate religiosity among customers in Kuwait coffee shops, collecting data through more than 1,700 direct observations. About 60% of customers were classified as low in perceived religiosity and 40% as high in perceived religiosity. Consumers high in perceived religiosity were more likely to be Kuwaiti and more likely to be older in age. They also visited coffee shops with fewer friends and were less likely to actually purchase coffee, yet they exhibited a greater amount of dwell time. The study validates the use of religiosity as a viable segmentation variable in Islamic retail markets and of direct observation as a classificatory method.
... Standard demographic controls such as age, race (white = 1), gender (female = 1), and region (South = 1) are included in this analysis. Family background is also included, as the literature suggests the importance of controlling for whether one's biological parents are married to each other (Denton 2012; Ellison et al. 2011; Petts 2009), share the same religious beliefs (Bader and Desmond 2006; Petts 2011), and how close the respondent is to their parents (Myers 1996). Recent research by Uecker and Ellison has challenged the notion that growing up in a single-parent household affects parental religious affiliation and church attendance (Uecker and Ellison 2012), but this measure of parental stability will still be included as the debate seems to be ongoing. ...
Article
Full-text available
Arnett (J Youth Adolesc 24:519–533, 1995) has suggested that media are a form of self-socialization, meaning that people choose the media they consume and in turn become socialized into certain beliefs and values. Research has sug-gested that viewing R-rated movies may lead to decreases in religiosity (Barry et al. in J Adult Deviance 19:66–78, 2012), but the direction of causality in this study is questionable. This research improves upon Barry, Padilla-Walker, and Nelson's study by including control variables for peer and family influence while utilizing panel data for longitudinal data analysis. Findings from the 2003, 2005, and 2007–2008 waves of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) suggest that viewing R-rated movies does indeed lead to decreases in church attendance and salience of religious faith, but it does not influence certainty and selective accep-tance of religious beliefs. These results are discussed in light of self-socialization and their implications for how future studies might examine the relationship between R-rated movies and religiosity.
... Parents strongly influence their children's religious development (Myers, 1996;Smith & Denton, 2005); and in the general population, youth religiosity is associated with parental religiosity (Regnerus, Smith, & Smith, 2004), strong parent-child relationship (Smith & Denton, 2005), marital status (Wilcox & Wolfinger, 2007), and high family satisfaction (Regnerus et al., 2004). Research has also shown that youth religiosity is strongly positively associated with attachment (Desmond, Morgan, & Kikuchi, 2010) and negatively associated with family disruption (Denton, 2012;Zhai, Ellison, Glenn, & Marquardt, 2007). Religious homogeny occurs when parents and their youth share similar religious experiences. ...
Article
Full-text available
Increased religiosity is associated with a variety of improved outcomes, especially for youth in disadvantaged contexts. Although youth involved in child welfare may experience protective effects of religious participation or values, little is known about the impact of maltreatment on religious development. Using the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, a nationally representative study of child welfare involved families, correlates of religious attendance and importance of religion for youth were investigated using weighted logistic regression at two waves 18 months apart. Youth self-reports of religious attendance and their ratings of its importance were associated with religious attendance of their caregivers, whether birth-parents or foster parents. Foster parents were more likely to attend religious services than birth parents. Increases in youth attendance from Wave 1 to Wave 2 were associated with high youth religious importance at Wave 1, whereas decreases in attendance were associated with moving between home and foster placements. Increases in religious importance from Wave 1 to Wave 2 were associated with religious attendance at Wave 1 and with the youth being Black.
... In this study, the Means of infidelity, marital treason and having a sex with someone other Apart from your spouse. Research on the relationship with marital infidelity due to several different factors have raised, For example, research Denton (2012), Peleg (2008) and (Munsch, 2015) have shown that marital satisfaction and individual desires and age of marriage are the factors affecting marital infidelity. In this study the relationship between genders schemas as one of the important components with marital infidelity have been tested and this Research is consistent with (Bamber, 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to predict extramarital relationships (betrayal) based on gender schemas. Methods: The present study was correlational and forecasts. The study population were all Couples who Applicant to Divorce referred to medical centers in Shiraz and 300 people were selected by multistage random sampling. In this study, data were collected by Inventory meta-marital relationships and Bem gender Schema Questionnaire. First, the coefficient of correlation was obtained, then the data were analyzed by regression analysis. Results: the results showed that gender schemas, significantly and positively will predict spouses extramarital relations. Conclusion: According to study findings, we can say that there is a significant relationship between gender schemas as a psychological components and meta-marital relationships.
... In the study of Hökelekli -Çayır (2006), it is determined that approximately 80% of the young people who change religion have no visible presence in the family life. The researches of Risch, Jodl, Eccles (2004), Regnerus -Burdette (2006), Armet (2009), Denton (2012, Barton, Snider, Vazsonyi, Cox (2012), Roskam -Bebiroğlu (2014) shows that family-adolescent relationships and family religious beliefs lead to adolescent religious socialization. The family as the collective subject, which conveys religious values and reference codes; determines the action and meaning codes of its members, is the source of social capital (Aydemir -Tecim, 2012). ...
... This is somewhat related to a religious orientation as originally proposed by Allport and Ross (1967) and subsequently refined by Batson and Schoenrade (1991) and Francis (2007). However, the majority of previous research on religious orientation or commitment has combined the cognitive (motivation, attributed importance, commitment), affective, and behavioral elements to provide a broad and multifaceted perspective (e.g., Denton, 2012;Miller, Shepperd, & McCullough, 2013;Pearce, Foster, & Hardie, 2013). For example, in a meta-analysis, Dehaan, Yonker and Affolter (2011) identified that the most common ways for measuring religiosity were (a) frequency of religious service attendance, (b) religious behaviour, such as personal prayer or participation in church-related activities, RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL SALIENCE 6 (c) salience, such as its attributed importance for daily life or in making decisions , and (d) questioning, which included engaging with doubts and questions about faith and religion. ...
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This mixed-methods exploratory study examined the psychological salience of religiosity and spirituality in a sample of young people (ages 16–21, M age = 18.9 years; SD = 1.36) from New Zealand. Participants completed a cross-sectional online questionnaire with both qualitative and quantitative questions that assessed subjective perceptions of religion and spirituality and theoretically linked social and cognitive (motivation and identity) factors associated with the psychological salience of religiosity/spirituality. The results showed considerable overlap in participants’ conceptualization of religiosity and spirituality as the two constructs related to participants’ faith; yet, the sample had greater affinity for spirituality than religiosity. Relationship quality and religious/spiritual support from family and friends were associated with a stronger community connection. This was associated with participants’ spiritual identity and extrinsic motivation to be involved in religious activities, which in turn predicted greater religious/spiritual salience. The findings replicate previous research in the relationship between religiosity and spirituality in Christian samples, and also breaks new ground in the conceptualization of the psychological salience of religiosity/spirituality and in identifying community connection as a link to increased religious/spiritual identity and motivation among adolescents and young adults.
... Ongoing investigations of religious socialization and the rise of the unaffiliated might benefit from considering the influence of childhood chronic health conditions. The variation in religious socialization across family types and the influence of family disruption is under increased scrutiny (Denton 2012;Denton and Culver 2015;Petts 2015;Sullivan 2008;Zhai et al. 2007). However, the disruptions of divorce and alternative family structures on children's religious socialization receive the bulk of the attention. ...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research consistently demonstrates greater religious involvement is associated with improved health outcomes for those with chronic health conditions. Fewer studies focus on how chronic health conditions influence religious service attendance rates and most focus on older Americans. Using three waves of a nationally representative sample of children in the United States, I test whether children with a chronic health condition never attend religious worship services at rates significantly higher than children without a condition. I also investigate variation in attendance rates across a broad range of conditions, something previously overlooked. Children with chronic health conditions are more likely to never attend religious worship services. Specifically, children with chronic health conditions that impede communication and social interaction are most likely to never attend. Despite shifts in prevalence these findings are stable over time. Implications for researchers, religious communities, families with children with chronic health conditions, and health‐care providers are discussed.
... In the study of Hökelekli -Çayır (2006), it is determined that approximately 80% of the young people who change religion have no visible presence in the family life. The researches of Risch, Jodl, Eccles (2004), Regnerus -Burdette (2006), Armet (2009), Denton (2012, Barton, Snider, Vazsonyi, Cox (2012), Roskam -Bebiroğlu (2014) shows that family-adolescent relationships and family religious beliefs lead to adolescent religious socialization. The family as the collective subject, which conveys religious values and reference codes; determines the action and meaning codes of its members, is the source of social capital (Aydemir -Tecim, 2012). ...
Article
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Empirical research has ignored the effects of poverty on adolescent religion even though children are far more likely than adults to live in poverty in the United States. The current research demonstrates considerable differences in the religious activities and religious viewpoints of poor and non-poor, American teenagers. Analysis of National Study of Youth and Religion survey data shows that while poor teenagers are especially likely to pray, read religious scriptures, and report high levels of personal faith, they are unlikely to regularly participate in organized religious activities. Other findings include poor teenagers' emphasis on role reversal in the afterlife, their apparently conventional levels of interaction with secular society, and their low likelihood of reporting the types of emotional religious experiences that are commonly associated with lower class religion. The findings highlight the important role poverty plays in shaping the religious outlooks and activities of adolescents, as well as the need for researchers to consider the role of social class when analyzing Americans' religious beliefs and activities.
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Young adults (N = 274; mean age = 18.9) recalled their spiritual responses to their parents’ divorce (M = 4.2 years ago). After controlling for general religiousness and spirituality, participants who had appraised the divorce as a sacred loss or desecration and experienced spiritual struggles over the divorce reported higher current depression, anxiety, painful feelings about the divorce (paternal blame, self-blame, loss and abandonment, seeing life through filter of divorce, intrusive thoughts), and spiritual growth. Prior adaptive spiritual coping was tied to greater current personal and spiritual growth and, unexpectedly, psychological distress. As expected, spiritual struggles with the divorce partially or fully mediated all but one of the links found between having appraised the divorce as a sacred loss or desecration and outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Although the importance of social context in understanding religious "transformations" is commonly emphasized, we know little about the context in which transformations actually occur. Nor has the frequency of such experiences during adolescence (or adulthood, for that matter) been well documented. What we know primarily concerns classifying conversion experiences or personality types that appear most likely to undergo religious conversion. Using two waves of National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data, we estimate the frequency of these experiences among American adolescents and evaluate common contextual predictors of religious transformation. We find personality and behavioral effects to be consistent predictors of rapid religious decline, but not growth. Conversely, demographic variables predicted religious growth, but not decline. Family effects predicted both types of change, but in very different ways. Only religious contexts were consistent predictors of both kinds of change. Furthermore, we find significant declines in religiosity easier to predict than rapid increases. Nevertheless, such religious change is not normative among adolescents: only 4-6 percent of adolescents report each form of drastic increase or decrease in religiosity.
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In the last four decades, the United States has witnessed revolutionary changes in the organization of family life and gender relations. A large number of sociological observers of American religion in recent years have argued that religious institutions in the United States must accommodate themselves to the “changing family” by reaching out to and symbolically affirming persons in a range of nontraditional families: unmarried singles, stepfamilies, single mothers, dual-career families, and gays and lesbians (D’Antonio & Aldous, 1983; Edgell, 2005; Marler, 1995; Roof & Gesch, 1995). Pointing to marked changes in the organization of family and work, from rising rates of female labor force participation to the increasingly pluralistic character of American family life, these scholars argue that religious institutions must change their family-related discourse and practice to accommodate the family and gender revolutions of the last four decades if they seek to flourish in the 21st century.
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This investigation proposes and tests a conceptual model of adolescent religious belief and commitment which was informed by recent advances in measurement theory and scale constrution. The model is a partial conceptual replication of Cornwall's 1988 study of Mormon adult religious development. The model was examined by looking at the linear structural relations from the covariance matrix of relations in a large survey of adolescent religious attitudes and behavior conducted in late 1988 and early 1989. The proposed model was specified, modified, and re-specified. The final fit of the model to the data was quite good, especially when one considers that the survey used for this study was originally prepared for another purpose. Finally, the implications of this new model and additional research strategies and questions are suggested.
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This paper examines the relative influence of religious socialization, personal community relationships, and demographic characteristics on religious belief and commitment. Findings indicate that personal community relationships have the strongest direct influence on belief and commitment, but that religious socialization and demographic characteristics influence religious belief and commitment indirectly because they influence personal community relationships. Religious socialization is important not only because it provides the individual with a world view, but because it channels individuals into personal communities that sustain a particular world view through the adult years.
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This article focuses on family processes and adolescent religious attendance and personal religiosity. We find that the closeness and quality of the marital relationship and relationship between adolescent and parents significantly contributes to the strength of adolescent religious conviction and practice. The study used data from the NLSY97 cohort. Predictors include parenting style, closeness, and parent–child closeness; family structure; income, employment, parental education, mother's age at first birth, and number of siblings; adolescent characteristics (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, lying or cheating); and environmental characteristics (e.g., region of country, urbanicity, and physical environment risk). Family religious attendance was dramatically influenced by race in adolescents aged 16 years. Adolescents living with married, biological parents in 1997 were 36% more likely to attend worship services than those living with stepfamilies. Adolescents living in more physically risky environments, with peers who belonged to gangs, cut classes, or had sex, were less likely to attend weekly worship services with their families. Finally, compared with adolescents whose parents had a high-quality marital relationship and who had good relationships with both parents, all other adolescents were less likely to attend weekly worship services with their families.
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Sociologists have paid little attention to the experience of divorce in religious congregations. Numerous quantitative studies suggest that religion can provide health and wellness during such life disruptions, but we know little about the social and individual processes that might foster these benefits. I address this gap in the literature drawing from data collected in a four-year ethnographic study of divorce and ending life partnerships across six religious traditions. I analyze the experiences of 41 individuals who ended life partnerships while active in their congregations. Despite intense points of communal connection through ritual, respondents named largely private strategies for settling heightened emotion, physical and psychological pain, and creating a new self. Permeating their communal experiences was a marked sense of aloneness, resulting from individual shame and congregational silence, as well as their understanding of divorce-work as ultimately private self-work.
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Surprisingly few studies have explored the implications of parental divorce for the religious involvement of offspring, especially in young adulthood. Our study addresses several theoretical argu-ments linking parental divorce with reduced religious involvement in young adulthood and tests rele-vant hypotheses using data from a unique sample of 1,500 young adults (ages 18-35), evenly divid-ed between offspring of divorce and offspring from intact nuclear families. Results show that parental divorce is associated with substantially lower self-reported religious involvement among young adults; however, there are no effects of parental divorce on non-organizational religiousness (prayer activity) or subjective religiousness (feelings of closeness to God). The link between parental divorce and reli-gious attendance appears to be due to the lower levels of paternal (father's) involvement in childhood and adolescent religious socialization among the offspring of divorce. A number of implications of these findings are discussed.
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This study examined the role of three spiritual responses to divorce for psychological adjustment: appraising the event as a sacred loss/desecration, engaging in adaptive spiritual coping, and experiencing spiritual struggles. A sample of 100 adults (55% female) was recruited through public divorce records. Most appraised their divorce as a sacred loss/desecration (74%), experienced spiritual struggles (78%), and engaged in adaptive spiritual coping (88%). Appraisals of sacred loss/desecration and spiritual struggles were tied to higher levels of depression. Adaptive spiritual coping was tied to greater posttraumatic growth. Spiritual coping and struggles each contributed uniquely to adjustment beyond parallel forms of nonspiritual coping and struggles and mediated links between viewing the divorce as a sacred loss/desecration and depression.