Relationship quality between parents and adolescents: understanding the role of religion Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Denton, Melinda Lundquist
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Adolescence is a time of significant transition and major life changes. In particular, relationships between parents and adolescents are characterized by movement toward increasing adolescent autonomy and renegotiation of parental authority. The relationship between parents and adolescents has been found to be an important contributor to adolescent well-being. Research has linked parent-child relationship quality to a wide variety of adolescent outcomes, including areas such as academic achievement, delinquency and risk behaviors, mental health and well-being, and life satisfaction. Given the significant impact of the parent-adolescent relationship on adolescent outcomes, this study seeks to contribute to our understanding of the relationships between adolescents and their parents, with a particular focus on the intersection of religion and parent-child relationships. The goal of the first chapter is to identify different dimensions of religion and examine how they are related to the quality of relationships between adolescents and their parents. The following two chapters further specify these relationships, first through an examination of the mediating role of social resources in the link between religion and relationship quality, and second through sub-population analysis comparing the role of religion in the parent-child relationships of black and white adolescents. Taken together, the three chapters that comprise this dissertation lead us to a more comprehensive understanding of religion's role in teenagers' perceptions of their relationships with their parents. Evidence is provided to further our understanding of religion as a multidimensional social force in family life, to elucidate how religious involvement may confer social resources that improve family relations, and how these patterns may vary within particular cultural contexts. The findings presented here help us better understand the role of the institution of religion in family lives and suggest broader mechanisms of religious influence.
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  • In Copyright
  • Smith, Christian
  • Pearce, Lisa D.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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