Intergenerational Transmission of Conservative Religion and Attitudes

Jesse Smith , Pennsylvania State University

Past research finds a strong relationship between parent and child religiosity. However, previous studies have not explored how this relationship varies by parental religious ideology. Using data from Wave I and Wave IV of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), I examine (a) how transmission of religiosity from parents to their young adult children is moderated by parental religious conservatism, (b) how parental religious conservatism is related to young adults’ religious conservative attitudes, and (c) how family religious practice mediates these relationships. I find that religious transmission between generations is strengthened by parental religious conservatism, and this effect is partly explained by higher levels of family religious practice in these households during adolescence. I further find that parental religious conservatism has a positive relationship with young adult religious conservative attitudes at Wave IV. This relationship is partially mediated by various elements of family religious practice during adolescence.


 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions