Religion, Religiosity and Parenting Practices: An Examination of Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze Mothers in Israel

Rana Eseed*, Iris Zadok, Mona Khoury

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of religiosity in shaping family functioning, in general, and parental discipline, in particular, have received wide research attention, especially in studies conducted amongst Christian parents from Western cultures. Little is known about the relationship between religiosity and parenting in non-Western cultures. The current study explored the role religion and religiosity play in predicting maternal use of psychological control and punitive discipline of mothers from Israel who belong to two ethnonational groups: Jews and Arabs, and who represent four religions: Jewish, Muslims, Christian and Druze. The study was based on a survey of 502 Israeli mothers of children aged three to five years (31.6 per cent Jewish, 36.0 per cent Muslims, 16.8 per cent Christians and 15.6 per cent Druze). Mothers were asked to fill out an online structured, anonymous self-report questionnaire survey distributed through social networks. We used multivariate hierarchal regression to explore the role of religion and religiosity in predicting mother’s use of punitive discipline and psychological control, after controlling for child and family factors. The results showed that religiosity was significantly and positively associated with mothers’ use of both psychological control and punitive discipline. Furthermore, it was found that Arab mothers reported using psychological control more than did Jewish mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1494
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.


  • anger
  • Christian
  • co-parenting
  • Druze)
  • Muslim
  • psychological control
  • punitive discipline
  • religion (Jewish
  • religiosity


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