Parental practices and religious identity. A study about youths' religious internalization

Camillo Regalia, Claudia Manzi, Maria Brambilla, 27256, DI SCIENZE DELLA FORMAZIONE FACOLTA', MILANO - Dipartimento di Psicologia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Most recent researches about “the bitter and the sweet” of religiousness agree that religious identity can endorse various forms, some of which are associated with better outcomes at an individual and social level (Pargament, 2002). An interesting conceptualization is the theory of religious internalization (Ryan, Rigby and King, 1993) that argues that it is possible to distinguish between an identificated internalization and an introjected internalization, the first being a more autonomous, self-determined form of religiosity, and the latest being mainly an other-approval oriented and immature form of religiosity. In our research, we investigated which are the familiar antecedents of these different forms of religious identity. In particular, we tested the theoretical model proposed by Assor (2012), in which some parental practices are assumed to predict the different types of religious internalization. Results on an Italian sample (n. 520, mean age 19.12, sd 2.0, 52,6% females) show that parents’ autonomy support (e.g. allowing to choose one’s own way in religious issues) and parents’ value demonstration (e.g. engaging in religious activities) are the best predictors of religious identification, whereas parents’ conditional regard (e.g. give more affect if the children pray) predicts religious introjection. Perceived parental warmth moderates the relationship between parental practices and religious internalization. Moreover, value demonstration provided by peers (specifically, the religious group- e.g. they are consistent in how they live out their faith) and autonomy support from the religious group leader (e.g. encouraging to ask questions) are also good predictors of religious identification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 6th ESFR Congress abstracts book
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event6th ESFR Congress - Lillehammer
Duration: 26 Sep 201229 Sep 2012


Conference6th ESFR Congress


  • family relations
  • religious identity


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