Date of this Version
Journal of Family Communication 14:4 (2014), pp. 310–327.
Guided by Communication Accommodation Theory, we examine the communicative management of religious difference in parent-child relationships. Using survey data from emerging adults (N = 409), we found that religious difference is associated with decreases in relational satisfaction and shared family identity. Further, parents’ religious communication has the potential to promote relational well-being. Accommodative communication (religious-specific supportive communication and respecting divergent values) was associated with increases in relational satisfaction and shared family identity. Two forms of nonaccommodative communication (inappropriate self-disclosure and emphasizing divergent values) were associated with decreases with relational satisfaction and shared family identity; giving unwanted advice was associated with decreases in relational satisfaction but not shared family identity. Giving unwanted advice moderated the relationship between religious difference and relational satisfaction. Differences were also discovered between families with interfaith and intrafaith parental dyads. Findings suggest theoretical and methodological contributions to family communication, religious, and intergroup research.