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RELIGIOUS CHANGE AND ADOLESCENT FAMILY DYNAMICS

Authors


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*Direct correspondence to Mark D. Regnerus, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1700, Austin, TX 78712-0118; e-mail: regnerus@prc.utexas.edu

Abstract

Much more has been documented about the influence of religion on parenting practices than on how the former may shape family life from the perspective of adolescents. Building a conceptual model of religion and changing family relations, we assessed the particular influence of adolescent religious change on the dynamics of their relationships with their parents, and overall satisfaction with their families. Employing data from two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), results suggested that growth in personal religious salience—how important religion is in adolescents’ lives—is uniquely and consistently related to better family relations, even after accounting for behavioral changes—such as excessive drinking and drug abuse—that are detrimental to both religiosity and family relations.

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