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Religions 2019, 10(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010037

Mixed Blessing: The Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Religion on Child Development among Third-Graders

1
Department of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
2
The School of Public Administration, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
3
Institutional Research and Effectiveness Services, Alamo Colleges District, 201 W. Sheridan, San Antonio, TX 78204, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Family Life)
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Abstract

Previous research has linked parental religiosity to a number of positive developmental characteristics in young children. This study introduces the concept of selective sanctification as a refinement to existing theory and, in doing so, adds to a small but growing body of longitudinal research on this topic. We explore how parents’ religious attendance (for fathers, mothers, and couples) and the household religious environment (parent–child religious discussions, spousal conflicts over religion) influence child development among third-graders. Analyses of longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS)-Kindergarten Cohort reveal a mix of salutary (beneficial) and adverse (detrimental) developmental outcomes based on teachers’ ratings and standardized test performance scores. Third-graders’ psychological adjustment and social competence are enhanced by various religious factors, but students’ performance on reading, math, and science tests is hampered by several forms of parental religiosity. We discuss the implications of these findings and suggest several avenues for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; faith; spirituality; child development; youth; standardized test religion; faith; spirituality; child development; youth; standardized test
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bartkowski, J.P.; Xu, X.; Bartkowski, S. Mixed Blessing: The Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Religion on Child Development among Third-Graders. Religions 2019, 10, 37.

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