Daughters, Mothers, and God

By Rodolfo Cortes | April 24, 2008 | 0 comments

New research published in the February edition of the Journal of Family Psychology suggests that daughters and mothers who discuss their spiritual beliefs have stronger relationships.

A Midwestern research team asked 130 college-aged women, and their mothers, to complete questionnaires measuring the extent to which they discussed their spiritual or religious beliefs and practices. The researchers also measured the communication patterns, relationship satisfaction, and conflict resolutions strategies between the mothers and daughters.

Results showed that daughters who often discussed their spiritual beliefs with their mothers were more satisfied with their relationship and were less aggressive when trying to resolve conflicts with their mothers. Mothers had the same results with respect to their daughters. The researchers found that these results held even if the mothers and daughters differed on their spiritual views, though most of the women in their study belonged to a Judeo-Christian religious tradition.

According to the authors, the study suggests it is better for adolescent daughters and their mothers to discuss their spiritual beliefs openly "rather than allow the topic of religion/spirituality to go underground, or adopt a policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

Tracker Pixel for Entry

Greater Good wants to know:
Do you think this article will influence your opinions or behavior?

  • Very Likely

  • Likely

  • Unlikely

  • Very Unlikely

  • Not sure


Like this article?

Here's what you can do:

blog comments powered by Disqus



Greater Good Events

The Science of Burnout: What Is It, Why It Happens, and How to Avoid It
International House at UC Berkeley
April 29, 2017
6 CE Hours

The Science of Burnout: What Is It, Why It Happens, and How to Avoid It

A day-long semiar with GGSC Science Director Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., celebrated compassion teacher Joan Halifax, burnout expert Christina Maslach, Ph.D., and UCLA psychiatrist Elizabeth Bromley, M.D., Ph.D.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

How Pleasure Works By Paul Bloom Bloom explores a broad range of human pleasures from food to sex to religion to music. Bloom argues that human pleasure is not purely an instinctive, superficial, sensory reaction; it has a hidden depth and complexity.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement