Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Attachment to Parent and Peers as a Moderator of the Relation Between Parent/peer Religious Coping and Adolescent Religious Coping

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Eric Dubow


The goal of this study was to advance the understanding of the role of parents’ and friends’ religious coping in predicting college students’ religious coping. The concordance hypothesis predicted a significant relation between student religious coping and parent/friend religious coping. The moderator hypothesis predicted that student attachment quality to parent/friend would moderate that relation, resulting in a stronger positive relation between parent/friend religious coping and student religious coping for those students with higher as opposed to lower levels of parent/friend attachments. A sample of late adolescent college students was surveyed about their own and a selected parent’s and friend’s religious coping and about their attachment relationship with that selected parent and friend. In addition, the selected parent and friend were mailed surveys that assessed their own religious coping. Zero order correlations assessed the concordance hypothesis. Four sets of hierarchical regression analyses assessed the moderation hypothesis. The concordance hypothesis was supported in regards to positive religious coping and partially supported in regards to negative religious coping. Specifically, the parent’s and friend’s actual positive religious coping was significantly related to the student’s actual coping, but concordance was between parent/friend actual negative religious coping and student negative religious coping was not significant. The student’s perceptions of their parent’s and friend’s positive and negative religious coping were significantly related to the student’s actual positive and negative religious coping, respectively. As predicted, concordance rates were higher for students’ perceptions of parent/friend religious coping than for actual parent/friend religious coping. The attachment as moderator hypothesis was largely unsupported. It is speculated that because students generally reported higher as opposed to lower levels of attachment to parents and friends, it was difficult to test adequately the moderator hypothesis in this sample. The results are discussed in terms of Bandura’s concept of mental models and Bowlby’s attachment theory in the context of Pargament’s theory of the Psychology of Religion and Coping.