CONVERSION & Research Stresses the Importance of the Parental Connection

What Drives Apostates and Converters? The Social and Familial Antecedents of Religious Change among Adolescents.

by Longo GS, et al. Psycholog Relig Spiritual. 2014.


While research on the psychology of religion and spirituality has examined religious conversion, little research has examined social and familial variables that might play a role in conversion in adolescence. Longitudinal work examining concurrent conversion experiences – as opposed to retrospective reports – is particularly rare. In an examination of 209 parent-adolescent dyads, findings suggested that those who became religious at Time 2 had higher social competence at Time 1 than did apostates, whereas adolescents who were religious at both times had higher social competence, parent communication, and parent trust than apostates. Additionally, those who converted to their parent’s religion at Time 2 were higher than apostates in Time 1 social competence and parent communication. Results point to the importance of considering social and familial factors in religious conversion.


25664141 [PubMed]



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Longo GS1, Kim-Spoon J2.

Author information

  • 1University of Montevallo.
  • 2Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


Psycholog Relig Spiritual. 2014 Nov;6(4):284-291.

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