ATTACHMENT, CHILDHOOD RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, AND ADOLESCENT RELIGIOSITY
The study examined whether children’s attachment security during early childhood moderates the relations between children’s religious education in middle childhood and religiosity in early adolescence. Data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development was used for the study. The original sample had 1,363 infants, with 24% ethnic minorities. Analyses for the present study focused on 875 children with complete data for all the variables of interest. Attachment security scores were coded by trained observers viewing tapes of a modified Strange Situation when the child was 36 months. Mothers reported children’s minutes/week of religious education after school and weekends multiple times during grades 4 and 5. Adolescents completed a questionnaire on their religiosity when they were 15 years old. Based on attachment theory, it was hypothesized that the higher attachment security to the child’s mother is in early childhood, the greater the relation between hours of religious education during middle childhood and religiosity during adolescence. Low levels of religious education during middle childhood were hypothesized to lead to lower levels of adolescent religiosity regardless of children’s security of attachment. Hierarchical regression was used to test for the proposed interaction between religious education and attachment security. Supporting previous research, religious education during childhood did positively predict adolescent religiosity at age 15. And attachment security did moderate the relations between religious education and adolescent religiosity. The relation between religious education and adolescent religiosity was strongest for attachment security 1 SD above the mean, less strong for attachment security at the mean, and the least strong for 1 SD below the mean. The study provides support for attachment theory which proposes that attachment security may affect children’s later learning. Because the study sample was predominantly made up of White, middle-class, urban, Christian families; the study results should not be generalized to ethnic minority families, poor families, rural families, and families of other religions
|Advisor:||Stright, Anne D|
|Commitee:||Silvestro, Frank D, Huber, Lesa L, Agger, Charlotte A|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Cognitive psychology, Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||Attachment, Education, Parenting, Religiosity, Religious|
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