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Dimensions of Religiosity as Mediators of the Relations Between Parenting and Adolescent Deviant Behavior

NCJ Number
Journal of Adolescent Research Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Dated: April 1997 Pages: 199-226
A W Litchfield; D L Thomas; B D Li
Date Published
28 pages
Data on more than 1,500 adolescents in the United States, collected in two separate projects to examine interrelations between adolescent religiosity and the extent to which religiosity mediated the effects of parental behavior on adolescent deviant outcomes, showed various dimensions of parent/child interaction had independent effects on adolescent religiosity and deviance.
The central concern of the study was the interface between the social contexts of family and religion and their relevance to adolescent and young adult functioning. Data were obtained from a sample of 934 male adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age who were members of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church and from another sample of young LDS adolescents between 11 and 15 years of age and their parents. In general, the three religiosity dimensions (public, private, and future plans) of interest functioned as intervening variables between parental behavior and deviance, with adolescent expectations of future religious activities reducing subsequent deviance more than either public or private adolescent religiosity. Adolescents constructed a view of their future patterns of religious activities, based on parent/child relationships and public and private religious activities, and tended to participate or not participate in deviant behavior consonant with their future religious orientation. Further research is suggested to consider how the family's religious context may be related to other important dimensions of the social world surrounding the family within which parent and adolescent behaviors have their meaning. 43 references, 6 tables, and 3 figures