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Religiousness and Perceived Childhood Attachment: Profiling Socialized Correspondence and Emotional Compensation

Pehr Granqvist and Berit Hagekull
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 254-273
DOI: 10.2307/1387793
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1387793
Page Count: 20
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Religiousness and Perceived Childhood Attachment: Profiling Socialized Correspondence and Emotional Compensation
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether religiosity stems more from emotion regulation strategies to obtain felt security (the "compensation hypothesis") in the case of perceived insecurity of parental attachment and more from socialization of religious standards (the "revised correspondence hypothesis") in the case of perceived security of parental attachment. Questionnaire data containing retrospective measures of perceived attachment to parents, socialization-based and emotionally based religiosity, sudden religious conversion, and characteristics of religious change were collected from 156 students. Results supported the revised correspondence hypothesis in that security of attachment was positively linked to socialization-based religiosity and to gradual religious changes that were associated with early onset and life themes indicating adoption of religious standards, whereas compensatory themes were uncharacteristic. The compensation hypothesis received support in that attachment insecurity (either avoidance or ambivalence) was positively related to emotionally based religiosity, sudden religious conversions, and intense religious changes that were characterized by late onset and compensatory life themes, whereas themes indicating adoption of religious standards were uncharacteristic. Parallels were drawn to the issue of religiosity as stemming from "within" (insecurity) or "without" (security) and to the concepts of "once-born" (security) and "twice-born" (insecurity) religious individuals. Suggestions for necessary methodological improvements in future studies were outlined.

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