Do parents make children religious? Heaven wonders

Jacqueline Maley, 1/5/10

Finally, some good news for Catholic spin doctors: hopeful children with warm but firm parents are more likely to develop religious values, according to a study by Wollongong University psychologists. The study examines the nexus between parenting styles, child development and religiosity and shows that the better the parenting, the more positive religious values the child holds. Researchers questioned 784 year 7 students in Catholic schools about their perceptions of parents’ behaviour, then divided the ”parenting styles” into three groups – authoritarian, authoritative and permissive. Three years later, they revisited the teenagers in year 10 and gave them questionnaires assessing their religious beliefs. The teens were asked to rate the extent to which they adhered to the guiding principles: ”Being saved from your sins and at peace with God”; ”Being at one with God or the universe”; and ”Following your religious faith conscientiously”.