ERIC Number: ED295088
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Reinforcements of Religiousness in Adolescence.
Ozorak, Elizabeth Weiss
A study conducted in 1986 found that parents were the critical influence on the religious beliefs and commitment of their adolescent sons and daughters, while the adolescent's peers seemed to have no significant effect. In addition, the content of the beliefs did not seem to act as a strong reinforcer. Thirty-two of the 390 subjects who participated in the original study were interviewed in-depth at a later date to explore the content of their beliefs, how they had come to hold them, and what aspects of religious commitment seemed to yield the most personal reward. A content analysis of the interviews revealed that parents exerted more influence on religiousness than did peers because parents appeared to care more and they reinforced religious participation that was similar to their own. Religious beliefs seem to be rewarding when they are informed and consistent, but often this is not the case with adolescents. As a consequence, emotional rewards for religiousness are more pervasive and powerful for adolescents than are rewards related directly to the religious beliefs themselves. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Dept. of Psychology and Social Relations.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (95th, New York, NY, August 28-September 1, 1987).