تاثیر اعمال مذهبی پدر و مادر بر روی نگرش طلاق افراد جوان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37119||2008||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Social Science Research, Volume 37, Issue 3, September 2008, Pages 801–814
Abstract This study investigates the intergenerational transmission of parents’ religious views and divorce attitudes, paying particular attention to the effect of parent–child closeness. We use structural equation modeling to examine a national longitudinal data set containing information from 455 married individuals and their adult offspring. We find that parent religiosity influences young adults’ views of divorce via two pathways: by affecting offspring’s religiosity and parents’ views of divorce. More religious offspring are less tolerant of divorce, but offspring who do not share their parents’ religious practices are nonetheless influenced by their parents’ religiously-influenced divorce attitudes. While parent religiosity has no effect on parent–child closeness, religious offspring report having been closer to their parents, suggesting that their current religious practices may affect their perceptions of the parent–child relationship.
1. Introduction Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 Hear, my son, your father’s instructions, And do not forsake your mother’s teaching. – Proverbs 1:8 Much attention has been paid to correlates of attitudes toward divorce. Studies have shown that factors such as parental divorce (Amato and Booth, 1991, Thornton, 1985, Trent and South, 1992 and Kapinus, 2004), closeness to parents (Risch et al., 2004), and parents’ own attitudes (Axinn and Thornton, 1996 and Kapinus, 2004) affect adolescents’ and young adults’ views of divorce. The formation of attitudes toward various aspects of family life such as marriage, childbearing, and divorce happen in concert with the socialization of other beliefs and behaviors such as religious affiliation and practice. Religion serves as an integrative force (Durkheim  1951) that encourages close relationships and greater involvement between parents and children (Wilcox, 2002, King, 2003 and Pearce and Axinn, 1998) and this can serve to enhance the transmission of parents’ attitudes (Myers, 1996). Moreover, given the strong correlation between religion and views toward family life (Cochran and Beeghley, 1991 and Emerson, 1996), parents’ religious beliefs and practices are likely to affect their children’s religious beliefs and practices which, in turn, influence their children’s attitudes toward divorce. This study examines how both parents’ religious involvement and attitudes toward divorce influence young adults’ religious practices and attitudes toward marital dissolution. To date, no study has simultaneously considered the role of parents’ religiosity and views of marital dissolution in the intergenerational transmission of religious involvement and attitudes toward divorce. We study the relative contributions of these influences using structural equation modeling with a unique, nationally representative, intergenerational data set. In our analyses, we also pay particular attention to how parent–child closeness influences the transmission of religious involvement and attitudes toward divorce. We explore these issues using an intergenerational and longitudinal data set that includes information about religious practices and attitudes toward divorce from men and women in 1980, 1983, 1988, and 1992 and their young adult offspring in 1992. Most Americans accept the idea that divorce is a justifiable way to end an unhappy marriage and reject the idea that parents should stay together for their children (Thornton and Young-DeMarco, 2001). Furthermore, divorce is a relatively common event; in 1995 an estimated 43–44% of marriages in the United States ended in divorce (Schoen and Standish, 2001). Examining attitudes toward divorce is a particularly relevant area for study as views of divorce are linked with marital experiences. For example, individuals who adopt tolerant views of divorce report subsequent declines in marital quality (Amato and Rogers, 1999) and are more likely to end their marriages (Amato and Booth, 1991). Additionally, Thornton (1991) has proposed that attitudes are an important intervening variable linking parents’ and offspring’s marital outcomes; thus, investigating how parents influence young adults’ religiosity and attitudes toward divorce may shed light on how family of origin characteristics affect marital experiences. Religious involvement is related to both divorce attitudes and likelihood of divorce among those who marry. Thus, it is important to consider in an examination of beliefs about divorce. Many Christian churches emphasize the importance of marriage and family cohesion (Hadden, 1983 and Hargrove, 1983) as do other religions including Judaism and Islam. Marriage in particular is regarded as a sacred promise rather than simply a means of personal fulfillment; this message is repeated in religious texts (such as the Bible), sermons, and church activities (D’Antonio, 1983). Individuals who are involved in formal religion are more likely to have negative attitudes toward divorce (Thornton, 1985) and have lower divorce rates (Aldous, 1983 and Booth et al., 1995). People with no religious affiliation have the highest rate of divorce, although the differences in divorce rates across various denominations are small (Call and Heaton, 1997). Parents’ religiosity may influence offspring’s attitudes about divorce through the transmission of religious beliefs and practices that are associated with opposition toward divorce. Attendance at worship services provides families with opportunities to develop a shared belief system by hearing similar messages about family life and facilitates the development of social bonds between people with coinciding beliefs (Waite and Lehrer, 2003). Religion may also influence parent–child closeness (Pearce and Axinn, 1998), a factor that affects attitude transmission (Myers, 1996). We draw from two theoretical perspectives to explain how parents’ religious practices influence young adults’ religiosity, and affect attitudes toward divorce: social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis. 1.1. Social learning theory Social learning theory asserts that children learn attitudes and behaviors by observing and modeling significant others (Bandura and Kupers, 1964). Daily interaction with parents provides children with numerous opportunities to observe and imitate their parents, leading to the development of similar attitudes and behaviors (Bao et al., 1999). Offspring are more likely to imitate parents when parents engage in warm and positive parenting practices; positive interaction encourages imitation (Bandura, 1969). Thus, social learning theory posits that children learn religious beliefs and practices by imitating their parents, and this is particularly likely when parents and offspring have a close relationship. Empirical evidence supports this notion, and indicates that parent–child closeness and parental acceptance increase the likelihood that children share their parents’ religious views (Bao et al., 1999, Rossi and Rossi, 1990 and Sherkat and Wilson, 1995). Given that religious involvement is linked with attitudes toward divorce, young adults may be more likely to share their parents’ views of divorce if they also share their parents’ religious practices. Furthermore, parents who successfully instill religious beliefs and practices in their children by explicitly discussing their religious views with children and attending religious services together may also be encouraging their children to view family relationships as sacred. Thus, very religious parents may send children powerful messages about marriage and divorce (Mahoney et al., 2001). In other words, by adopting their parents’ religious views, young adults are also likely to believe that family relationships (and marriage in particular) are spiritual connections and that divorce violates these sacred promises. Additionally, through attending religious services together, both parents and children are likely to hear the same messages about the importance of family, thereby enhancing the likelihood that they will have similar views about divorce. Parents may influence young adults’ attitudes through two pathways. In the first path described previously, parents’ religiosity affects their young adult children’s religious beliefs and practices and this, in turn, may influence offspring’s views of marital dissolution. In the second path, parents’ religious beliefs and practices are related to parents’ attitudes toward divorce; parents’ attitudes are likely to influence their children’s attitudes toward marital dissolution. Even if young adults reject their parents’ religious beliefs and practices they may continue to share their parents’ religiously-influenced views about divorce. 1.2. The channeling hypothesis The channeling hypothesis provides another explanation of the process by which parents’ religiosity is likely to influence young adults’ religious beliefs and practices as well as young adults’ views of divorce. In his discussion of the channeling hypothesis, Himmelfarb (1979) noted that “…parents socialize their children by channeling them into other groups or experiences (such as schools and marriage) which will reinforce (have an additive influence on) what was learned at home and will channel them further into adult activities” (p. 478). This theory has been empirically supported by research on Jewish and Latter Day Saints religious participation (Cornwall, 1989, Erickson, 1992 and Himmelfarb, 1980). The notion of channeling reflects the decisions parents make regarding how, when, where, and in what company children spend their time (Cornwall, 1988). Although the channeling hypothesis explains how parents influence young adult religious participation, this theory is also useful in understanding how religious socialization can enhance the transmission of other attitudes and behaviors. Parents who want their children to espouse specific religious views are likely to be involved in organized religion, place their children in religious schools and education programs, and encourage or require their children to participate in religious activities and/or join religious peer groups. Additionally, by fostering social contact with people who hold certain religious beliefs, parents also ensure children are surrounded by individuals who share other views correlated with religious affiliation such as political ideology, gender role beliefs and attitudes toward family life. Regarding attitudes toward family life, Thornton et al. (1992) note, “Involvement in religious institutions also enhances interaction with peers with positive feelings about marriage and restrictive attitudes toward premarital sex and cohabitation” (p. 630). Thus, by directing their children toward religious institutions, parents affect the development of other beliefs and behaviors that happen in concert with religious socialization. 1.3. The present study In this study, we are interested in how by influencing young adults’ religious involvement, parents also affect their children’s attitudes toward divorce. Therefore, offspring’s religious involvement may be more likely to influence young adults’ attitudes toward divorce than parents’ religious involvement. An alternative possibility is that young adults’ may reject their parents’ religious beliefs and practices, but continue to share their parents’ religiously-based views of divorce. Note that social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis are not utilized as opposing theoretical models; rather these theories discuss different mechanisms that affect the process of religious and family attitude transmission. We draw from both theories as support for why the intergenerational transmission of religiosity is also likely to affect offspring’s views of divorce. As displayed in Fig. 1, we examine three ways that parents may influence young adults’ attitudes toward divorce. The first and most plausible way that parents’ religiosity is likely to influence young adults’ attitudes toward divorce is through young adults’ religious practices and beliefs. In other words, parents with strong religious views are likely to have offspring who have similar religious beliefs and these beliefs are associated with opposition to divorce. A second possibility is that parents’ religiosity is related to parents’ attitudes toward divorce; parents’ attitudes, in turn, affect children’s beliefs about marital dissolution independently of offspring’s religious practices. The third and least plausible pathway is that parents’ religiosity directly influences offspring’s divorce attitudes. Basic structural model (indicator variables and error terms not shown). Fig. 1. Basic structural model (indicator variables and error terms not shown). Figure options As noted in the discussion of social learning theory, close parent–child relationships may enhance the likelihood that offspring will share their parents’ attitudes. Relevant to this study, prior research indicates closeness to parents is related to attitudes toward divorce (Risch et al., 2004). Furthermore, the literature suggests that religious organizations encourage family closeness (Wilcox, 2002, Wilcox, 1998 and Pearce and Axinn, 1998), and that closeness strengthens parents’ influence over their children’s attitudes and beliefs (Bahr et al., 1998, Bao et al., 1999 and Myers, 1996). Therefore, we include a measure of parent/child closeness to test, first, whether parental religiosity is associated with greater closeness, and second, whether closeness mediates the effect of parents’ religiosity on young adult religiosity and divorce attitudes. (This is illustrated in Fig. 1.) In addition to taking into account the various ways parents may influence young adults’ views of divorce and the effect of parent–child closeness, we account for other variables that may affect attitude transmission specified in Fig. 1. Previous research indicates that parents have the greatest influence on young adults’ attitudes toward divorce when children are in their late teens (Kapinus, 2004). Thus, we use the measure of parents’ attitudes that was taken while the offspring were adolescents. Due to the age range of the sample analyzed for this study, we use the 1988 measure of parents’ attitudes for those offspring 24 years old and younger and the 1983 measure for those offspring 25 years old and older. We control for gender of both parent and child as studies indicate women have higher levels of religiosity (Bensen et al., 1989) attend church more frequently (Batson et al., 1993 and Cornwall, 1989) and have more tolerant views of divorce (Kiston and Holmes, 1992 and Thornton, 1985). Additionally, at least one study demonstrates that mothers have more influence on parent–child religious transmission (Bao et al., 1999). We also control for parental divorce and whether the offspring has divorced or separated because these factors are associated with a liberal stance on divorce (Amato and Booth, 1991, Axinn and Thornton, 1996, Greenberg and Nay, 1982 and Thornton, 1985). We also take into account membership in a conservative Protestant denomination because such affiliation may be linked to attitudes toward divorce (Martin and Parashar, 2006). Furthermore, because parents may continuously influence their young adult children through out the life course, we also replicate our analysis with the 1992 parent measures (Rossi and Rossi, 1990). Finally, we must acknowledge that the data set analyzed for this study was not created to empirically test theories about religious transmission. Additionally, our measure of religiosity is global, tapping individuals’ commitment and devotion rather than ascertaining specific dimensions of religious beliefs and practices. Nevertheless, this data set is unique in containing information from parents during multiple points in offspring’s development and information from offspring after they have reached adulthood. Therefore, we are able to avoid the problems associated with cross-sectional research and same-source bias
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
4. Conclusion Our study used a national longitudinal data set containing information from married individuals and their adult offspring to investigate the effects of parents’ religious practices and attitudes toward divorce on young adults’ views of marital dissolution. This research advances the literature in two ways. First, although previous studies have examined the effect of the intergenerational transmission of religiosity on behaviors such as adolescent drug use (Bahr et al., 1998) and young adult union formation (Thornton et al., 1992), to date no published study has examined how religious transmission may influence young adults’ attitudes toward divorce. This is surprising given that the formation of attitudes toward various aspects of family life such as marriage, childbearing, and divorce happen in concert with the socialization of other beliefs and behaviors such as religious affiliation and practice. Social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis guided our discussion of how the transmission of religious practices may influence the socialization of other attitudes related to religious involvement, such as attitudes toward family life in general, and attitudes toward divorce in particular. Second, few studies contain information about parents’ attitudes, and most of the studies that do so include only mothers’ attitudes (Axinn and Thornton, 1996; Thornton et al., 1992). This study has the advantage of including information from both men and women and their adult offspring. Moreover, we demonstrate that parents’ religious involvement and attitudes toward divorce measured during their children’s adolescence continue to influence offspring after reaching adulthood. We draw from two theoretical perspectives to explain how parents’ religious practices influence offspring’s religiousness and views of divorce: social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis. Each theory discusses different mechanisms that affect the process of religious and family attitude transmission. The social learning approach asserts that offspring learn attitudes through the process of modeling their parents. The channeling hypothesis notes that parents direct their children toward religious institutions such as schools, churches, and youth groups and these institutions shape offspring’s religious practices and attitudes toward divorce. Drawing from both theories, we tested three possible pathways whereby parents’ religious practices may affect young adults’ views of divorce. In the first pathway, parents’ religiosity influences young adults’ attitudes toward divorce through young adults’ religious practices and beliefs. In the second pathway, parents’ religiosity influences their own divorce attitudes, and these, in turn, influence young adults’ divorce attitudes. Thus, young adults may continue to share their parents’ religiously-based views of divorce, even if they do not share their parents’ religious beliefs and practices. The third possible, although least probable, pathway is that parents’ religiosity directly influences offspring’s divorce attitudes. Our results show support for the first two pathways. Consistent with social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis, adult offspring are more likely to be very religious when parents reported high levels of religious engagement while they were adolescents. Consequently, these very religious young adults have less tolerant attitudes toward divorce. Additionally, our study indicates that young adults are likely to continue to share their parents’ religiously-based views of divorce, even if they do not share their parents’ religious involvement. This also supports social learning theory as young adults are agreeing with their parents’ religiously-based family beliefs, even if they are not participating in the religious institutions. Accordingly, both social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis are useful theoretical tools to examine the intergenerational transmission of attitudes and behavior. Given the empirical support for the link between divorce attitudes and marital behaviors, our results indicate that parents’ religiosity may influence their offspring’s marital outcomes through affecting their attitudes toward divorce. Individuals who adopt tolerant views of divorce report subsequent declines in marital quality (Amato and Rogers, 1999) and are more likely to end their marriages (Amato and Booth, 1991). Furthermore, people who very religious have lower divorce rates (Aldous, 1983 and Booth et al., 1995) while individuals who have no religious affiliation have higher rates of divorce (Call and Heaton, 1997). Religious involvement may reduce the likelihood of divorce by strengthening commitment to marriage as a sacred promise (D’Antonio, 1983). Additionally, Mahoney (2005) suggests that couples who believe in sanctity of marriage may be more motivated to resolve marital conflict. Thus, this study indicates that parents’ religious involvement and attitudes toward divorce may influence the marital trajectory of their adult offspring by affecting young adults’ religious practices and/or divorce attitudes. Our study also paid particular attention to how parent–child relationship quality may affect the relationship between parents’ religiosity and offspring’s divorce attitudes. Risch et al. (2004) found that closeness with fathers influenced attitudes toward divorce; in contrast, this study found that parent–child closeness influenced divorce attitudes indirectly via offspring’s religious practices. Young adults who report closer parent–child relationships were more likely to report being very religious. There are several possible reasons for this effect. The first interpretation is the most obvious; adolescents who are close to their parents may be more likely to be very religious young adults. The second interpretation is that religious involvement influences the perception of parent–child closeness. In other words, religious offspring are more likely to report that they were close to their parents as adolescents. Finally, it is possible the link between religiosity and closeness is reciprocal; close parent–child relationships may increase the likelihood that children share their parents’ beliefs, and congruence in parent–child religiosity is associated with close relationships with parents. Unlike results reported in previous research (King, 2003, Pearce and Axinn, 1998 and Wilcox, 2002), we found that children are not more likely to report close relationships with parents when parents report higher levels of religiosity. This divergence in findings may be due to differences in informants; we use reports from adult offspring whereas King and Wilcox use parents’ reports of relationship quality. More religious people may be more prone to social desirability pressures, causing them to be more likely to report close parent–child relationships. This is especially true of parents, since being perceived as a “good parent” is an important component of reputation for parents. Our results indicate that when investigating the effect of religiosity on intergenerational relationships (and when examining intergenerational relationships in general), the choice of informant can influence the results. The findings of this study are noteworthy in demonstrating how parents influence young adults’ divorce attitudes in concert with the socialization of other beliefs and behaviors such as religiosity. Nevertheless, we must acknowledge the limitations of our data. Religious life in the United States has shifted within the last 10 years; the number of Americans who report no religious preference has increased from 7 to 14 percent during the 1990s (Hout and Fischer, 2002). Although this data is over ten years old, the purpose of this study is to examine how parents’ religiosity influences young adults’ religiosity and divorce attitudes. Thus, because the focus of the study is the examination of the influence of religiosity as a process rather than investigating changes in religiosity over time, the age of the data does not negate the contribution of this research. Furthermore, although the study contains information about parent and child religiosity at two different points in time and avoids the limitations of same-source bias, we do not know the extent that parents and offspring attended religious services together, had discussions about religious beliefs, or how much parents encouraged their children’s involvement in religious institutions and organizations. We lack information about the exact nature of how parents guided their offspring’s activities; thus, we can only speculate based on the application of theory and our research outcomes. Furthermore, the items used to tap religiosity were global rather than specific; we did not have detailed information regarding religious beliefs, actions, and spirituality. Nevertheless, the results of this study indicate that both social learning theory and the channeling hypothesis are potentially useful theoretical tools for investigating how parents can shape the attitudes and behavior of their offspring.