Study shows how religiosity may influence parental psychological control and children’s prosociality

Findings publicized in the journal Child Development have emphasized how religiosity can influence the effectiveness of shaming children, facilitating behavioral compliance.

In the study by researchers at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, more than 300 parents were administered questionnaires for assessing their devotion to religious beliefs, parenting styles, as well as the incorporation of psychological control in the lives of their children in typical day-to-day contexts.

The children were also administered material to assess their social behavior and extent of prosociality.

According to the study’s results, in Israeli Jewish families, the use of psychological control by mothers for behavioral compliance led to a negative effect, decreasing prosociality. In religious Muslim families, however, the style of parenting for behavioral compliance resulted in a positive effect and increased prosocial behavior.

“The findings suggest that religiosity may alter the meaning and consequences of parenting practices,” the study concluded.