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Perceptions of Parental Caretaking in Childhood and Religiosity/Spirituality Status in Adulthood

Sansone, Randy A. MD*†; Kelley, Amy R. BM*; Forbis, Jeremy S. PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 6 - p 542–544
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318257c822
Original Article

Relationships between parental caretaking quality in childhood and religiosity/spirituality in adulthood, which are the focus of the present study, have undergone limited study. Using a cross-sectional sample of consecutive internal medicine outpatients, we examined in 308 participants three aspects of their parenting experience (i.e., number of different caretakers, whether caretakers were biological parents or not, perceived quality of parental caretaking) and level of religiosity/spirituality over the past 12 months using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-being Scale (FACIT-Sp-12). Current level of religiosity/spirituality did not correlate with the number of different caretakers or whether caretakers were biological parents or not. However, 6 of 12 FACIT-Sp-12 scales and the overall FACIT-Sp-12 score statistically significantly correlated with perceived quality of parental caretaking, with better parenting ratings associated with higher levels of self-reported religiosity/spirituality. Findings suggest that better parenting in childhood is associated with higher levels of certain aspects of current religiosity/spirituality in adulthood.

*Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, OH; †Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, OH; and ‡University of Dayton, Dayton, OH.

Send reprint requests to Randy A. Sansone, MD, Sycamore Primary Care Center, 2115 Leiter Road, Miamisburg, OH 45342. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.