Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 66–78 | Cite as

The Role of Mothers and Media on Emerging Adults’ Religious Faith and Practices by Way of Internalization of Prosocial Values

  • Carolyn McNamara BarryEmail author
  • Laura M. Padilla-Walker
  • Larry J. Nelson


In the current study, we investigated the role of emerging adults’ internalization of prosocial values as a mediator between maternal relationship quality and two types of media use (positive and negative) and religious faith and practices. Participants included 500 undergraduate students (ranging from 18 to 26 years; 75% European American) from five American universities. Structural equation modeling results indicated that both maternal relationship quality and positive media were related positively and indirectly (by way of prosocial values) to religious faith, and maternal relationship quality was related positively and directly to religious faith. In contrast, negative media use was related negatively and directly (and indirectly by way of prosocial values) to religious faith. The discussion focuses on the role of parents and media in promoting religious faith and practices, and the extent to which emerging adults’ internalized prosocial values appear to be important in the socialization process of religious faith.


Maternal relationship quality Media use Religiosity Internalization of prosocial values Emerging adulthood 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn McNamara Barry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura M. Padilla-Walker
    • 2
  • Larry J. Nelson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLoyola University MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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