Four‐ to 6‐year‐old children (N = 131) heard religious or nonreligious stories and were questioned about their belief in the reality of the story characters and events. Children had low to moderate levels of belief in the characters and events. Children in the religious story condition had higher levels of belief in the reality of the characters and events than did children in the nonreligious condition; this relation strengthened with age. Children who used God as an explanation for the events showed higher levels of belief in the factuality of those events. Story familiarity and family religiosity also affected children’s responses. The authors conclude that God’s involvement in a story influences children’s belief in the reality of the characters and events in that story.
Child Development – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 2011
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