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Families and FaithHow Religion is Passed Down across Generations$
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Vern L. Bengtson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199948659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199948659.001.0001

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The Unexpected Importance of Grandparents (and Great-Grandparents) 1

The Unexpected Importance of Grandparents (and Great-Grandparents) 1

Chapter:
(p.99) Chapter 5 The Unexpected Importance of Grandparents (and Great-Grandparents)1
Source:
Families and Faith
Author(s):

Vern L. Bengtson

Norella M. Putney

Susan C. Harris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199948659.003.0005

Grandparents have seldom been considered as important religious influences on youth. But they should be, because the role grandparents play will be much more prominent in the twenty-first century than it has been in the past. This study found evidence of surprisingly significant grandparental religious influence on grandchildren. Moreover, comparing 2005 to 1970, there has been no decline in the degree to which grandparents and grandchildren are similar in religiosity over the thirty-five-year span. Four types of grandparental religious influence were identified: (a) grandparents replacing or substituting for parents’ religious socialization, (b) grandparents reinforcing or accentuating parents’ religious socialization, (c) grandparents challenging or subverting parents’ socialization, (d) grandparents avoiding or ignoring religious activities with grandchildren.

Keywords:   grandchildren, grandparents, religious influence, youth

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