It is generally believed that early experiences in childhood influence later psychosocial functioning. This study addresses the relationship between parenting in the early years and later psychosocial functioning and religious orientation within the social context of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Recent research in the application of paradigms from attachment theory to adult relationships and the psychology of religion forms the theoretical framework for the study. Questionnaire measures were taken from 242 tertiary students at a denominational college. Results indicated that the quality of the parent-child bond was significantly related to later psychosocial adjustment and religious orientation. Further, the quality of this bond was more closely associated with subject's current religiosity than the religious commitment of parents. Affective issues were particularly important for the psychological and social adjustment of subjects. Control and approval issues were important for religious commitment and orientation, particularly for daughters. Fathers were more important than mothers in predicting subjects adjustment. These trends were stronger for daughters than for sons. Results are interpreted as supportive of a "congruency" hypothesis drawn from attachment theory. Individuals tend to organise their social and religious life around models of self and others. Implications from the study are discussed in terms of the importance of early familial experience for later adjustment and the consequences this might have for both church and community groups.


Family Life Education


Graduate School

First Advisor

Ronald G. Huston

Second Advisor

Antonius D. Brandon

Third Advisor

Ian P. Chad

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Youth -- Religious life; Youth -- Psychology; Parent and child; Attachment behavior



Page Count

vi; 136

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives