Gravity, god and ghosts? Parents' beliefs in science, religion, and the paranormal and the encouragement of beliefs in their children

Gregory S. Braswell, Karl S. Rosengren, Howard Berenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Using a questionnaire, the present study examined parents' beliefs regarding the development of children's beliefs about science, religion, and the paranormal. The study also investigated parental encouragement of children's beliefs, as well as parents' own beliefs within these domains. Results revealed that parents make distinctions between domains in terms of (a) the importance and timing of beliefs in children's lives, (b) their own beliefs, and (c) what they encourage their children to believe. The results also indicated that parents' beliefs were often consistent with the beliefs, they encouraged in their children. These findings suggest that parental beliefs provide an important contextual background for children's development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Beliefs
  • Childhood development
  • Parental influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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