A Study of Parenting, Locus of Control, Religiosity and Gender

Jonathan Ausubel, Pace University


Parenting has been a frequently studied variable in the psychological literature with regard to correlating parenting behaviors and styles with various childhood outcomes. Parenting has received far less attention, however, with regard to comparing parental behaviors and styles with parents own parental beliefs and characteristics. The current study aimed to address the gap in the literature by examining the relationships between parenting characteristics, locus of control (LoC), religiosity, and gender. In particular, the current study used the Parent Development Theory (PDT) as a theoretical framework with which to examine parenting beliefs and characteristics. The current study reviewed the current literature on parenting, focusing on the six positive parenting characteristics and one negative characteristic of parenting proposed by PDT and measured by the Parent Behavior Importance Questionnaire - Revised (PBIQ-R). LoC, as measured by Rotter's I-E Scale, and religiosity, as measured by The Religiousness Scale, are the two variables investigated in the current study in relation to the seven parental characteristics of PDT to determine if their relationship is significantly correlated. The current literature regarding LoC and religiosity is reviewed, specifically highlighting previous studies that correlated LoC and religiosity with parenting. Lastly, the current study examined the relationship between parenting, LoC, and religiosity, to determine if parental gender had a significant moderation effect. ^ The current study involved 202 participants who completed the PBIQ-R, Rotter's I-E Scale, which measures LoC orientation of the participants, and The Religiousness Scale, which measures religiosity levels of the participants. The current study found that Internal LoC was significantly correlated with the parental characteristics of Bonding and Responsivity, but none of the other positive or negative parenting characteristics. ^ In terms of religiosity, results were reported in terms of Intrinsic Religiosity, which refers to a private, internal relationship with God, Extrinsic Religiosity, which refers to participation in public or external religious activities (e.g., church attendance, Sunday school participation), and Total Religiosity, which refers to the composite religiosity score of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Religiosity combined. In the current study, Intrinsic Religiosity was significantly correlated with the Bonding, Discipline, Responsivity, and Total Positive parenting characteristics. Extrinsic Religiosity and Total Religiosity were not significantly correlated with any of the PBIQ-R parenting characteristics. ^ Lastly, gender was found to moderate several of the correlations. Depending upon the statistical analysis utilized, a t-test versus regression analysis, gender was found to have a moderation effect with regard to the Bonding, Education, and Total Positive subscales of the PBIQ-R, and for Extrinsic and Total Religiosity on the Religiousness Scale. That is, women were more likely than men to endorse the Bonding, Education, and Total Positive subscales of the PBIQ-R as being important parenting characteristics. Men, on the other hand, rated themselves significantly higher than women on the Extrinsic and Total Religiosity subscales of The Religiousness Scale. ^ The findings of the current study are discussed in the context of previous research and were found to be mostly consistent with prior research findings. Findings of the current study that were not consistent with prior research are discussed as well. Reasons as to why the results differed between the current study and previous research studies are proposed. The results of the current study are discussed in terms of limitations, directions for future research, and implications for research and practice by mental health professionals and school psychologists working with parents and children. ^

Subject Area

Religion, General|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Jonathan Ausubel, "A Study of Parenting, Locus of Control, Religiosity and Gender" (January 1, 2012). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3533509.



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