Projects  Masthead

« back to projects

Religious Socialization Project

The Religious Socialization Project investigates the different methods churches and parents impart religious values to adolescents. A goal of this project examines how churches communicate race-related messages to adolescents. Two studies have been conducted to examine the relationships between theological orientation and racial identity attitudes. Study 1 (N=211) explored the relationship between parents’ perceptions of their church theological orientation and their racial socialization practices. In Study 1, racial identity attitudes were explored as mediators between parents’ perceptions of their church and parental racial socialization practices. Study 2 (N=135), an exploratory study, examined the extent to which adolescents’ perceptions of their church theological orientation and their parents’ socialization practices influence their racial identity attitudes.

The results indicate that theological orientation is related to parental racial socialization practices as well as the parents’ racial identity attitudes (Martin, under review). Parental racial identity attitudes partially mediated the relationship between parents’ perceptions of their church theological orientation and their racial socialization practices. The findings from Study 2, reported in the forthcoming Black Families show that adolescents’ perceptions of their church and their perceptions of their parents’ racial socialization practices are significantly related to their racial/ethnic identity attitudes (Martin & McAdoo, In Press). To date, this is study is the only investigation which has examined how the church serves as a racial socialization agent shaping parental racial socialization practices and their adolescents’ racial identity attitudes.