Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Educational Psychology, Ed.D.

First Advisor

Donna J. Habenicht

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Luanne Bauer


Three research questions were examined: (1) What role does cognitive-attribution play in religious value transmission? (2) Is there a generation gap in the religious values of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) families? (3) What is the influence of parental support on value transmission?

The Religious Value Transmission Study (RVTS) questionnaire was developed. The internal reliabilities of the fundamental belief, attitude, and behavior scales was, for each scale, above .80. A factor analysis with a rotation of factors confirmed the construct validity of the scales. A nation-wide random selection of SDA college freshmen and sophomores, and their parents returned 1089 questionnaires representing an answer rate of 61 percent for the students and 65 percent for the parents. Thus, 228 daughter-parents and 135 son-parents triads were gathered and analyzed using correlational and group mean comparisons. The ninety null hypotheses and subhypotheses were tested at .05 level and the statistical power set at .90.

It was found that: (1) The misattribution of belief and attitude confirms the role of cognitive-attribution in value transmission. However the study shows no misattribution of parents' behavior. Therefore the cognitive-attribution theory seems to apply only to cognitively oriented aspects of the transmission. (2) The generation gap between parents and children as a group or cohort, although statistically significant, seems to be less central to the problem of transmission than the gap existing between children's beliefs or attitudes and their behavior. Therefore, the practical conclusion is to focus on the integration of these dimensions in order for individuals to achieve consistency. (3) The role of family interaction in transmission needs further study using a more sophisticated paradigm with multiple dimensions.

Subject Area

Children--Religious life, Religious life, Educational psychology

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