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The Predisposition To Pray

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image of Journal of Empirical Theology

Previous research into prayer during childhood and adolescence has tended to emerge from the context of developmental psychology with little regard for the role of social and contextual influences. The present study redresses that balance by employing path analysis to examine the influence of home, church and denominational identity on an attitudinal predisposition to pray and the practice of prayer among 4,948 eleven year old children in England. Even after controlling for the child's own practice of prayer, which is itself a function of strong social and parental influences, the path model draws attention to the direct influence on these children's predisposition to pray of church attendance, parental church attendance and denominational identity. The implications of these results are discussed for the statutory acts of Christian worship required in state maintained schools in England and Wales.


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