Wilkinson, R. (2018). Losing or choosing faith: Mother loss and religious change. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
vol. 54 (4) pp. 758-778
Maternal religiosity is associated with children's religiosity even as they grow into adults. Yet, experiencing the death of one's mother during the transition to adulthood could modify the transmission of maternal religiosity across the life course. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I find that the relationship between mother loss and religiosity is bidirectional. Results from longitudinal models of child religiosity across the transition from adolescence to adulthood show that mother loss is negatively associated with service attendance but is positively associated with salience. Further, mother loss predicted higher frequency of prayer among bereaved children at lower levels of maternal religiosity but lower prayer frequency at higher levels of mothers’ religiousness. Overall, these findings direct attention to differences in the associations between mother loss and indicators of religiosity and to the interplay between mother loss and maternal religiosity as important factors in the transmission of religiosity across generations. © 2018 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
maternal religiosity mother loss religion transition to adulthood
Export Date: 20 September 2018 Article in Press
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
August 16, 2018