maternal relationship quality, media use, religiosity, internalization of prosocial values, emerging adulthood


In the current study, we investigated the role of emerging adults’ internalization of prosocial values as a mediator between maternal relationship quality and two types of media use (positive and negative) and religious faith and practices. Participants included 500 undergraduate students (ranging from 18 to 26 years; 75% European American) from five American universities. Structural equation modeling results indicated that both maternal relationship quality and positive media were related positively and indirectly (by way of prosocial values) to religious faith, and maternal relationship quality was related positively and directly to religious faith. In contrast, negative media use was related negatively and directly (and indirectly by way of prosocial values) to religious faith. The discussion focuses on the role of parents and media in promoting religious faith and practices, and the extent to which emerging adults’ internalized prosocial values appear to be important in the socialization process of religious faith.

Original Publication Citation

Barry, C. M., Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Nelson, L. J. (2012). The role of mothers and media on emerging adults’ religious faith and practices by way of internalization of prosocial values. Journal of Adult Development, 19, 66-78.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Adult Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor