Running head: PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 1 The Impact of Parent Religious Heterogeneity and Openness Chelsea Gober email@example.com Adviser: Dr. Larry Forthun firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Heidi Radunovich email@example.com Family, Youth, and Community Sciences College of Agricultural and Life Sciences University of Florida
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 2 Acknowledgements I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those who helped me through the process of completing a senio r thesis. To my family and friends who encouraged me to embark on this journey and supported me through it, I truly appreciate your support even through the difficult times. Dr. Heidi Radunovich, thank you so much for your vote of confidence in my ability to complete a senior thesis and for orchestrating my partnership with Dr. Larry Forthun as an advisor. Dr. Forthun, I feel lucky to have had to opportunity to work with such an experienced researcher and thesis advisor as yourself. Thank you for all your p atience and guidance. I would also like to thank the MUSIC survey team for their tremendous contribution to my senior thesis. You were all instrumental in my process of completing this thesis.
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 3 Abstract that of their children in emerging adulthood, the present study utilized data from the Multisite University Study of Identity and Culture (MUSIC; Castillo & Schwartz, 2013). Religious affiliation, religious commitment (RCI 10; Worthington et.al., 2003), and openness to change (Quest Scale; Batson & Schoenrade, 1991) were examined in 7,142 undergraduate students from thirty universities and colleges across the United States. The sample included 27% males and 73% females with a mean age of 19. 8 and demonstrated both ethnic and religious diversity. Approximately 62% reported religious homogamy (same affiliation) with both parents, 12 % affiliated with their mother, 8 % with their father, and 18% reported religious heterogamy (different affiliations) wit h both parents. A Chi Square test for independence (using continuity correction for a 2 X 2 table) was significant 2 = 1867.14, p < .000 ( phi = .512 ). A One Way ANOVA showed that students who reported parental religious homogamy tended to have higher reli gious commitment (F = 265.4 7 p < .05, eta 2 = .069). Between group d ifferences for Openness to C hange were also significant but with a very small effect size (F = 17.3 9 p < .05, eta 2 = .004). Findings suggest that emerging adults with parents who differ affiliation. Likewise, parental religious congruence is associated with religious commitment. Future research should explore the effect of shifting gender roles on maternal and paternal influences and examine the relationship between parental religious congruence on openness to change.
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 4 As adolescents enter emerging adulthood, they transiti on into a new phase of identity exploration where they develop a personal ideology including religious beliefs and commitments (Arnett, 2004). Of course, not all individuals are religious; but religious/spiritual exploration during emerging adulthood appea rs to be universal given that many cultures have religious beliefs of some sort and the quest for autonomy and independence increases (Barry, Nelson, Davarya & Urry 2010) Thus, emerging adults become open to new experiences and can explore for themselves rather than follow the beliefs and behaviors they learned from their p arents. In fact, Arnett (2004) suggests that there is no relationship between religious exposure during childhood and religiosity in emerging adulthood. Arnett (2004) provides three explanations for this phenomenon. First, individuals develop cognitive capacities including abstract reasoning during adolescence. Second, emerging adults are exposed to many more influences outside of the family than they were during childhood. Third, emerging adults feel responsible for making their own decisions, including religious ones. Thus, cognitive development, increasing external influences, and the pursuit of independence during emerging adulthood can overcome parenta l religious influence during childhood. While emerging adults have the freedom to either accept or reject the religious beliefs and behaviors their parents teach them during childhood, previous literature has demonstrated how instrumental each parental f igure can be in influencing this decision. In their research on Euro American young adults, Okagaki, Hammond, and Seamon (1999) found that 53% agreed that their fathers taught them how to pray, read the Bible, and have a relationship with G d (Supreme Bein g or deity) while 67% of the sample agreed that their m others fulfilled these
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 5 roles Most of the sample also reported that their mothers took them (95%) to church or encouraged them to attend (93%) religious services findings that there is no relationship between religious answer these questions: How is parental religious affiliation related to religious commitment and religio us openn ess during emerging adulthood? What happens to religious commitment and religious affiliations? Parental Influence on Religiosity Familial influence on re ligious beliefs and practices during childhood is undeniable. Mahoney (2000) found that 95% of parents in the United States report having a religious affiliation. As a result, a significant number of children are being raised with some element of religion that can be learned from their parents through observation, discussion, and action. observat ional learning consequences ( Bandura, 2001 ) Similarly, observational spiritual learning would suggest that spiritually relevant skills and behaviors can also be learn ed through observation and imitation (Oman & Thoresen, 2003) Thus, the overwhelming majority of American parents who report religious affiliation serve as exemplar s through which their children can observe and learn religious beliefs and behaviors. Howeve r, religious learning during childhood does not end with simple observation. Parental religiosity can also be passed on to children through conversation. In a study about
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 6 parent child religious discussion, Boyatzis and Janicki (2003) found that about half of the conversations with parents recorded in diaries of children between the ages of three and twelve involved G d. The authors concluded that through these discussions, children might learn and Dollahite and Marks (2005) found strong parental desires to pass on religious beliefs and practices to children. In their study of 74 highly religious families throughou t the United States, they determined ten central processes through which families facilitate religious and spiritual development Some examples include practicing religious traditions at home; using prayer, repentance, and forgiveness to resolve conflicts; abst aining from prohibited activities; making personal sacrifices for religious purposes; and obeying G d, prophets, and religious doctrines. For example, Bader and religious commitment as de monstrated by frequency of religious attendance, frequency of prayer, religious salience, and sanctification of religious doctrine. The researchers concluded that adolescent children of parents with high levels of both religious attendance and religious sa lience scored highest in all four aspects of religiosity and children of parents with low levels of both religious attendance and religious salience scored the lowest in all four aspects of religiosity. religious styles gr religiosity, even into adolescence Religious Homogamy and Heterogamy What is less well known is how parent al religiosity impacts the religious commitment of children when the parents do not share the same religious affiliation. Spouses who do not report the same religious affiliation are said to have a re ligiously heterogamous marriage (Mahoney,
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 7 et.al., 2008). Conversely, spouses who share a religious affiliation demonstrate religious homogamy. According to Sherkat (2004), who studied rates of religious homogamy for twelve religious groupings, about 46% of married Americans hold similar religious affiliations with their spouse. This leaves over half of married Americans in religiously heterogeneous marriages. The few studies that examine religious heterogeneity seem contradict ory For example, maternal influence is often found to be stronger than paternal influence in interfaith families. Spilka, Hood, Hunsberger, and Gorsuch (2003) attribute this to the fact that wom en tend to be more religious and attend religious services more often than men. Should a child view his or her mother as more religious and attend religious services more often with her than with his or her father, it follows that such child mother interac religious beliefs is because mothers tend to be much more involved than fathers in religious conversations. If mo thers answer more questions about religion or express their religious beliefs beliefs. Contrary to these studies, however, Bake r Sperry (2001) f ound that paternal influence is just as significant, if not more so, than materna l influence. To examine transmit religiosity onto their children Baker Sperry specifically examined intimacy, religiosity of parent, and education as influent ial factors Intimacy, or the closeness of each parent to the fathers demonstrated significant religious transmission when examining religiosity and education as de terminants. Baker Sperry argues that paternal influence ca n even be stronger in these cases, and that t h ese findings could be related to shifting gender roles in recent decades.
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 8 In other research, Okagaki and colleagues (1999) found that Euro American you ng adults involved in a non denominational student group held stronger desires to share parental religious beliefs when they perceive religious congruence between their parents. However, when parental religious congruence is not the case, young adults have beliefs. This c orresponds with the findings regarding child parent religious interaction previously mentioned Whereas 53% of adolescent children agreed that their fathers taught them how to pray, read the Bible, and have a relationship with G d; more adolescent children (67%) agreed that their mothers filled this role (Okagaki et al., 1999) Furthermore, most respondents indicated that their mothers, more so than their fathers, encouraged them to attend (93% vers us 81% ) religious services or actually took them (95% versus 83% ) to church. Perhaps because mothers provide more religious interaction with their children, adolescents whose parents demonstrate religiosity. Purpose of Current Study Most recent studies do not take into account the religious homogamy or heterog amy of the parental relationship and the few that examine religious heterogeneity seem contradict ory Another discrepancy found in the literature is childhood affect ones religiosity during emerging adulthood. This thesis provides insight into how religious affiliation influences the religious development of children as they transi tion into emerging adulthood. To answer questions left by the scarce and contradicting studies, this study seeks to evaluate the effect of religious homogamy and heterogamy on the religious commitment and openness of emerging adults. Commitment, as defined by Worthington and colleagues (2003), is how one adheres to values,
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 9 mindedness, responsive dialogue, and existential questions regarding religion (Batson & Sch oenrade, 1991). Because emerging adulthood involves the development of personal ideolog ies such as religious beliefs and commitment (Arnett, 2004) both religious commitment and openness are essential when examining religiosity during emerging adulthood G iven that previous research suggests that mothers play a more significant role in religious upbringing, it is anticipated a larger proportion of offspring reporting religious affiliation similar to their mother figure than to their father figure. It is als o predicted that offspring who report religious homogeneity will have greater religious commitment while those who report religious heterogeneity between parents will demonstrate higher religious openness. That is, e merging adults with religiously congruen t parents will be more religiously committed given greater pressure to follow shared religious. On the other hand, emerging adults with religiously heterogamous parents will express more religious openness and acceptance of religious differences given the religious incongruence already present in the family. Method Research Design This study uses a cross sectional design to measure variation in religious commitment and openness as they pertain to religious homogenous and heterogeneous parents A cross sectional research design utilizes data on several different variables collected at one point in time to measure variation (Bryman, 2008). Cross sectional research designs also utilize groups naturally formed by pre existing differences (de Vaus, 200 1). For this study, groups are formed
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 10 Data Collection Procedure This study utilizes a pre existing dataset comprised of survey results drawn from the Multisite Univer sity Study of Identity and Culture (MUSIC; Castillo & Schwartz, 2013). This online study involved data collection sites for large and small state universities as well as private universities throughout the United States: Three were located in the Southwest six in the Northeast, and seven each in the Southeast, the Midwest, and the West. Institutional Review Boards from each university and college approved the study. The opportunity to participate in this study, which occurred from 2008 to 2009, was adverti sed during class to undergraduate students studying business, education, family services, human nutrition, psychology, and sociology. Student volunteers were offered incentives such as extra credit from their university or college for participating. Approx imately 10,000 students participated in this online study, which took about 1 1.5 hours to complete. Participants were informed of their right to skip any test items or to withdraw from the study at any time. Sample Respondents were removed from the original MUSIC dataset for two reasons. First, respondents were removed if they were not between the ages of 18 25. Since emerging adulthood is the prime time for religious exploration, it is essential to focus on this period of deve lopment in the current study. Second, respondents were removed if they did not complete at least 70% of the items on the test instruments. Since the test instruments utilized in this study were placed toward the end of the MUSIC survey, which is lengthy 2 357 respondents were removed for incomplete responses. The final sample consist ed of 7 142 undergraduate students Approximately 27% ( 1 930 ) respondents wer e male and 73% ( 5 ,186) we re female; 25 respondents did not specify gend er.
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 11 The mean age of the sa mple wa s 19. 77. Respondents, who reported ethnicity and religious affiliation in their own words, were both ethnically (see Table 1) and religiously (see Table 2) diverse. Respondents were also asked to identify their most important mother and father figur es ( see Table 1 ). Over whelmingly respondents identif ied their biological parents INSERT TABLE 1 HERE INSERT TABLE 2 HERE Respondents removed from the sample did not significantly differ from those who remained in regard to age and gender. The mean age of the adjusted dataset was only 0.03 years younger than the mean age of the removed data, 19.80 years. Gender breakdown of the removed respondents was a pproximately the same as the remaining sample with 26.8 % (compared to 27.0 %) males and 72. 4 % females (compared to 72. 6 %). Differences between the removed ethnicity and the adjusted data are shown in Table 1. Overall, African American responden ts were more likely to be removed from the sample (e.g., excluded sample was 15.0% Black, included sample was 6.7% Black), while White/Caucasian respondents were less likely to be removed (e.g., excluded sample was 50.7% White, included sample as 64.3% Whi te) Instrumentation Religious Commitment. The Religious Co mmitment Inventory 10 (RCI 10) wa s designed to measure religious commitment, or how one adheres to values, beliefs, and practices and how he or she uses them daily (Worthington et.al., 2003). This involves religious attitude and experience, belief in traditions, membership in organizations, and participation in activities. The RCI 10 is a condensed refinement of the 17 item version that preceded it. Included in the RCI 10 are six items specifically measuring intrapersonal religious commitment, which is more cognitive in nature, and four items specifically measuring interpersonal religious commitment
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 12 which is more behavioral in nature. The RCI 10 utilizes a Likert scale format with five responses Not at all true of me Totally true of me 10 include enjoy working in the activities of my religious org commitment. The Religious Commitment Inventory 10 has been shown to be both reliable and valid through six separate studies (Worthington et al., 2003). When tested against the RCI 17, the RCI 10 yielded a coefficient al pha of .93, indicating strong internal consistency reliability. Three week test retest reliability of the RCI 10 yielded a coefficient of .87. Construct validity for the RCI 10 was tested by conducting a one Value Survey (Rokeach, 1967), which includes two sets of values that respondents rank in order of importance according to their value system. Scores between the RCI Survey correlated positively, demonstrating strong construct validit y. The Cronbach alpha for the Religious Commitment Inventory 10 in the present study was 0.9 3 Quest ( Openness to Change ) Batso n and Schoenrade (1991) define of open mindedness, responsive dialogue, and existential questions regar ding religion. Their 12 item Quest Scale was created to improve upon the 6 item Quest Scale, which lacked internal consistency The new 12 in another, indicating strong internal consis tency reliability, especially compared to t he previous 6 item quest scale (Batson and Schoenrade, 1991). Validity of the quest scale was supported in Genia (1996), which linked religious quest with more psychological distress and lower spiritual wellbein g. Because religious quest involves self doubt and questioning, which can contribute to psychological distress, a positive correlation
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 13 between quest and psychological distress is expected. It also stands to reason that religious doubt and questioning would correlate with lower spiritual wellbeing, even if only temporary, until the struct validity of the quest scale. The quest scale measures three factors of religious quest: openness to change, asking existential questions, and religious doubts as positive. This study only used the openness to change subscale of the measure. Openness to Change involves religious questioning and growth. Together, the four items on the Openness to Change subscale p only 29 Further analysis revealed t hat the removal of a single ite m religious convictions to change in the next few years This item, which was reverse coded, differed from the others in the time frame during which change (or lack thereof) would occur. Whereas the removed item was a statement of certainty over the next few years, other items included less specific time frames The revised scale was used in all analyses. Plan of Analysis The first hypothesis of this study is that respondents will religiously affiliate with their mother figure more tha n with their father figure First, two dichotomous variables were created based on religious congruence between emerging adults and their parents. For each child parent relationship, religious heterogamy was coded as 0 and religious homogamy was coded as 1 Second, a cross tabulation analysis was used to observe difference in percentages in each group. Lastly, a chi squared test of the whole sample was used to examine the statistical
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 14 significance of the trends In both cases, it was expected that a higher pe rcentage of the sample would affiliate the father figure The second hypothesis i s that children of religiously homogeneous parents will have higher religious commitment and lower religious quest tha n those w ith religiously heterogeneous parents. To test this hypothesis, the sample was split into groups based on parental religious congruence. As discussed by Kosmin, Keysar, C ragun, and Navarro Rivera (2008) the religious To ensure that these types of religious homogamy do not skew the results, it was important to distinguish religious homogamy of these populations from others. Thus, the analysis for thi s hypothesis involved three groups : Heterogamous, Religious Homogamous, and Non religious Homogamous A One Way ANOVA was conducted to examine the d ifferences between the groups. Higher religious commitment and lower religious quest in the parental religio us homogamy group wa s expected Results Hypothesis 1: Religious Affiliation with Mother Figure The first hypothesis in this study suggests that a larger proportion of offspring will report religious affiliation similar to their mother figure than to their father figure. A cross ta bulation between the two variable s is shown in Table 3 Approximately 62% of students reported religious homogamy with both mother figure a nd father figure (see cell 4) while only 18% reported religious heterogamy with both parents (see cell 1). Among those who reported differences in affiliation with parents, students were more likely to report religious homogamy with their mother figure ( 12 %) than with their father figure (8 %). A Chi Square test for
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 15 independence (using continuity correction for a 2 X 2 table) was significant 2 = 1867.14, p < .000 ( phi = .512 ) Together, a pproximately 74.2% of students reported homogamous religious affiliation with their mother figures while 70.3% of students reported homogamous religious affiliation with their father figures. INSERT TABLE 3 HERE Hypothesis 2: Higher Religious Commitment and Lower Religious Quest Among Respondents with Religious Homogeneity between their Parents A one w ay analysis of variance was conducted to compare scores on the Religious Commitment Inventory and the Openness to Change subscale of the Religious Quest Inventory between three groups The first group consisted of respondents in the sample who reported religious heterogamy between their parents. The second and third groups included respondents with religiously homoga mous parents. Given the complexities and common misconceptions of these populations (Kosmin, et al. were separated into a third group. I t was expected that respondents who indicated parental religious homogeneity (Group Two) would score higher on the Religious Commitment Inventory and lower on the Openness to Change subscale of the Religious Quest Inventory than their counterparts in Groups One (heterog am ous ) and Three (non religious homog am ous ) As shown in Table 4, t he One Way ANOVA found a statistically significant difference at the p < .05 level in religious c ommitment for the three groups: F(2, 7139) = 265.4 7 An eta squared of .07 dem onstrates a small effect size. A Tukey B post hoc comparison indicated that the mean scores were significantly different for all three groups: Group 1 (M = 2.11 SD = 0.8 2 95% CI: 2.0 7 to 2.15 ), Group 2 (M = 2.51, SD = 0.8 1 95% CI: 2.4 9 to 2.5 4), and Group 3 (M =
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 16 1.88 SD = 0.8 9 95% CI: 1.801 to 1.9 5 ). As anticipated, religious commitment was significantly highe r for those who reported religious homogeneity. INSERT TABLE 4 HERE This analysis also found a statistically significant differenc e at the p < .05 level in openness to change for the three groups: F(2, 7138) = 17.388 eta 2 = .004 A Tukey B post hoc comparison indicated that the mean scores were significantly different for all three groups: Group 1 (M = 3.752 SD = 1.494 95% CI: 3.6 86 to 3.818 ), Group 2 (M = 3.921 SD = 1.420 95% CI: 3.880 to 3.962 ), and Group 3 (M = 4.132 SD = 1.566 95% CI: 3.998 to 4.266 ). Contrary to the prediction, however, these results suggest that openness to change is lowest for children of religiously heterogamous parents. It should be noted, however, that the effect size was very small (eta 2 = .004), suggesting that the statistical differences between groups may be an artifact of the large sample size. Discussion This thesis sought to answer question s left by scarce and contradicting literature examining religious heterogamy in families ligious affiliations religious commitment and openness to change in emerging adulthood. There was support for the f irst hypothesis, which predicted a larger proportion of respondents reporting religious affiliation similar to their mother figure than to their father figure. The second hypothesis, though only partly supported by the data, predicted that respondents who reported religious homogeneity between parents will have greater religious commitment and lower openness to change.
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 17 Results of this study partly supported the hypotheses. First, respondents were somewhat This corroborates previous literature suggesting that mothers have a greater effect than fathers on ligiosity: For example, Okagaki and colleagues (1999) found that a vast majority of Euro American young adults reported that their mothers taught them how to pray, read the Bible, and have a relationship with G d and either encouraged them to attend religious services or actually took them to church more than their father s Nevertheless involvement were still extremely high Baker Sperry (2001) explains tha t changing gender roles might contribute to the balancing levels of religious influence mothers and fathers have on their children : As men take on more responsibili ties at home, fathers will presumably spend more time with their children and, therefore, have more influence over their religious development The study asked participants 18 years and older to reflect upon their as a ch ild and then compared those born in or before 1940, those born between 1941 to 1960, and those born after 1960 to track the trend in parental religious transmission. Results suggest that father figures significantly influenc e religious transmission, even m ore so than mother figures in some cases. A ssuming this shift is continuous and still occurring today it stands to reason that gender roles might continue to narrow children. The sample also demonstrated a much higher proportion of parental homogeneity than expected which led to a larger proportion of parent child homogeneity While Sherkat (2004) found that only about 46% of married American hold similar religious affiliations with thei r
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 18 homogamous parents (about 72 %) One possible explanation for this difference is in the sample and data collection procedures Whereas Skerkat (2004) examined data from th e 1973 1994 General Social Surveys (GSS) and limited his analysis to white respondents, the present study examined data specifically from undergraduate students and included all ethnicities. The effect of ethnicity on religious congruence might have contri buted to the discrepancy between proportions of religious homogeneity. Bisin and Verdier (2000) suggest that minority groups seek homogamous mates more frequently than those in majority groups, so the higher homogamy rate in the present study could result from our inclusion of minority groups in addition to Caucasians. Furthermore, data from the GSS involved married couples report s of both the ir own religious affiliation and that of their spouse, while the present study asked emerging adults to report on the religious affiliations of both their parents. Gathering self reported religious affil iations from parents may provide more valid information T he second hypothesis was partly supported b y results of the current study. Respondents who reported parental religious homogeneity h ad higher religious commitment than those who reported parental religious heterogamy or were non religious Consistent with the literature, religious commitment. If perceived parental religiou s congruence led to stronger desires for children to share parental religious beliefs (Okagaki, et al. 1999), it st ands to reason that religion and less open to chan ging this affiliation. While the analysis showed statistically significant differences across groups in both religious commitment and openness to change, the effect size for openness suggested that there were essentially no between group differences One explanation might lie within the
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 19 measurement tools of the current study. The Religious Commitm ent Inventory addresses a more extrinsic aspect of religion than does the Religious Quest Inventory. While the former includes items focusing on religious practic e, items for the Openness to Change subscale of the latter take a more intrinsic appro ach to religion Intrinsic religiousness, as defined by Jonas and Fischer (2006), involves internalized religious beliefs based on meaning and value as opposed to externa l These internalized religious beliefs (openness) might be extrinsic religious practices ( commitment) because children could engage in them simply to appease their parents. Another explanation could simply be that emerging adults are still exploring and developing religiosity (Arnett, 2004) While this exploration might not affect their religious commitment, it would result in high openness to change Implications These find ings h ave strong implications regarding religio us influences within families. First, having with the same religious affiliation influences religious commitment even during emerging adulthood. A s Arnett (2004) explained, emerging adulthood is the s tage when children can decide their own r interactions with parents throughout childhood seem to also influence this decision (Okagaki, et al., 1999; Boyatzis & Janicki, 2003; Dollahite & Marks, 2005; Bader & Desmond, 2006) religiosity is more likely among hetero gamous parents than homogamous parents. This would explain the results of the present study: Reli gious congruence between parents influences religious commitment
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 20 Second, although child ren reported being religiously congruent with mothers more than fathers, the small differen ce found may mean that fathers can also play an important role in their as Bake r Sperry (2001) suggested In the case that shifting gender roles contribute to a narrowing gap between ma ternal and paternal religious interactions with their children, fathers might play an increasingly equal role in religio us affiliation might be an important factor to consider when choosing a mate if one wishes to pass along his or her religious traditions to children. Because parental religious homogeneity predicts higher religious commitment, religious intermarriage might reduce commit ment as he or she enters adulthood. Limitations Some noteworthy limitations existed in the present study. First, the present study has limited external validity: T hough the MUSIC dataset included responses from undergraduate students at thirty universities and colleges across the United States, the final sample used in the present study might be less representative of emerging adults nationwide. external validity. Second, the self report method in the present study affects reliability. Factors such as consistency seeking, self presentation, and s ocial desirability can impact the accuracy of self report measures (Paulhus & Vazire, 2007) Another noteworthy limitation is that the present study did not examine the relationship between each parent and the respondent. Though respondents were asked to i dentify their most important mother and father figures, they did not explain their relationships with these individuals. Factors such as whether or not the participant resides with these parental figures, how much financial and emotional support he or she receives from them, the amount of time spent with these individuals, and the quality of their relationships can greatly influence the role a
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 21 ve Bakery Sperry (2001) found tha t, when asking adults 18 years and older to reflect on parental religious influences, the closeness of a mother to her child seemed to significantly i mpact religious transmission. Future Research Future research should explore whether the gap between maternal and paternal religious interactions found by Okagaki and colleagues ( 1999) has lessened, thereby contributing to more A meta analysis of similar studies over various decades might provide interesting ins ight as to the effect of shifting gender roles on maternal and In addition, further examination of the relationship between parental religious congruence and openness to change might provide better insight as to why there was only a slight difference between respondents with religiously homogenous parents and respondents with religiously heterogeneous parents. Lastly, f uture research should take into ship with each parent. Conclusion Despite these limitations, the present study provides great insight regarding parental influence on emerging adult Emerging adults are more likely to affiliate with their s minor and might continue to diminish as gender roles in the family evolve In addition, emerging adults with religiously homogenou s paren ts tend to have stronger religious commitment than those with religiously heterogen e ous parents However, contrary to my prediction, these individuals tend to have higher openness to change than their counterparts with religiously heterogeneous parent s
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 22 Fu rther research can help overcome some of the limitations of the current study and provide explanations for the results.
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PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 26 Table 1 Demographic Characteristics Comparing Percentages of Total, Included, and Excluded Respondents Total Included Excluded Demographic Characteristics (n = 9,499) (n = 7,142) (n = 2,357) Age 18 25.6 25.7 25.4 19 25.6 25.7 25.3 20 19.0 18.8 19.7 21 15.6 16.0 14.3 22 7.7 7.4 8.5 23 3.4 3.5 3.2 24 1.8 1.7 2.1 25 1.3 1.2 1.4 Missing 0.0 0.0 0.0 Gender Male 27.0 27.0 26.8 Female 72.6 72.6 72.4 Missing .5 .4 .8 General Ethnic Group Black 8.8 6.7 15.0 White 60.9 64.3 50.7 East Asian 10.1 10.2 9.7 Hispanic 14.8 13.9 17.6 South Asian 3.1 3.0 3.6 Middle Eastern 1.3 1.2 1.7 Coloured South African .1 .1 .1 Missing .9 .6 1.7 Most Important Mother Figure Biological Mother 6.7 6.5 7.6 Stepmother .3 .2 .3 Adoptive Mother .8 .9 .5 Grandmother 1.3 1.1 1.6 Missing 91.0 91.3 90.0 Most Important Father Figure Biological Father 7.9 3.6 3.3 Stepfather 1.9 2.0 1.7 Adoptive Father .9 1.0 .5 Grandfather 1.3 1.4 1.1 Missing 86.3 85.4 88.8
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 27 Table 2 Individual and Parent Religious Affiliations as a Percentage of the Sample Participant Mother Figure Father Figure Religious Affiliation No Religion 11.1 7.0 11.6 Agnostic 6.4 1.6 2.1 Atheist 2.7 .5 1.4 Protestant 34.5 39.7 36.3 Assemblies of G d/Pentecostal 1.5 1.5 1.5 Roman Catholic 27.6 31.7 29.7 Orthodox Christian 1.0 1.0 1.2 Jewish 3.4 3.8 3.9 Mormon 3.2 3.1 2.9 Jehovahs Witness .1 .3 .3 Muslim 1.3 1.3 1.7 Hindu 1.0 1.0 1.1 Buddhist 2.0 3.1 3.0 Other 4.2 3.2 2.9
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 28 Table 3 Cross tabulation of Child Parent Religious Congruence as Number and Percentage of Sample Child Mother Religious Affiliation Child Father Religious Affiliation Heterogamous Homogamous Heterogamous 1,279 5,64 1867.138* .512 17.9% 7.9% Homogamous 845 4,454 11.8% 62.4% p < .001
PARENT RELIGIOUS HETEROGENEITY 29 Table 4 Analysis of Variance for Heterogamous, Religious Homogamous, and Non Religious Homogamous Participants Variable Heterogamous Mean ( SD ) Religious Homogamous Mean ( SD ) Non Religious Homogamous Mean ( SD ) F Adjusted R 2 Religious Commitment 2.11 (.823) a ** 2.51 (.806) b 1.88 (.888) c 265.467* .069 Openness to Change 3.75 (1.494) a 3.92 (1.420) b 4.13 (1.566) c 17.388* .005 p < .001 ** lower case letters that are different from one another represent statistically significant differences using Tukey B post hoc analysis ( p < .05).