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06-08-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 1/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2020

Maternal and Family Correlates of Intrinsic Religiosity Profiles Among Low-Income Urban African American Adolescents

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 1/2020
Wendy Kliewer, Melissa Washington-Nortey, Joana Salifu Yendork, David W. Sosnowski, Anna W. Wright, Kristina McGuire
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10964-019-01095-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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National trends show that African American adolescents, relative to most other demographic groups, are more religious, and show fewer declines in religiosity, despite drastic decreases in religiosity among youth over the past 25 years. These broad findings are limiting because they fail to acknowledge religious heterogeneity among African American teens. Further, there are few empirical investigations of the transmission of religiosity within African American families. Building on a recent study that identified three distinctive profiles of intrinsic religiosity in a sample of low-income African American adolescents who were followed over four years (N = 326; Youth Mage = 12.1, SD = 1.6 years; 54% female), the present study examined contributions of maternal religiosity and family emotional climate in distinguishing these profiles. Univariate analyses revealed that maternal religious attendance and commitment, adolescents’ felt acceptance from mothers and the emotional climate in the home differentiated youth who retained high levels of intrinsic religiosity (41%) from youth who declined in religiosity (37%) or who had low levels of religiosity (22%). Multivariate analyses showed that after accounting for demographic covariates, felt acceptance from mothers differentiated adolescents with high versus low levels of religiosity; both maternal religious attendance and felt acceptance from mothers distinguished adolescents who retained high levels of religiosity from youth who declined in religiosity. Implications for family dynamics in African American adolescent religious development and well-being are discussed.

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