We examined the extent to which beliefs in a loving God and punitive God correspond with self-reported behavior in an online, longitudinal survey involving three waves of data collection, each separated by 6 months. Adolescents (N = 760) reported the extent to which they believed in a loving God and a punitive God (Times 1 and 3) and reported their engagement in benevolent (helping and forgiveness) and aggressive behavior (Times 2 and 3). Participants strongly endorsed a loving God but not a punitive God. In addition, belief in a loving God corresponded with reports of less aggressive and more benevolent behavior, whereas belief in a punitive God corresponded with more aggressive and less benevolent behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience