Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

W. Larry Ventis

Committee Member

Ellen F. Rosen

Committee Member

Suzanne Getz Gregg

Committee Member

Abaineh Workie

Committee Member

Richard Hollingsworth


This study investigated the relationships between perceptions of childhood relationships with parents, certain current self-conscious emotions, current religious orientation, and current risk-taking behaviors. The study also sought to develop models that would predict risk-taking behavior based on the other variables.

At an eastern university, 174 students (79 males) completed the Test of Self-Conscious Affect, Religious Life Inventory, Clark-Parent Child Relations Questionnaire, and the Past Frequency scale of the Cognitive Appraisal of Risky Events Questionnaire. Of these, 30 students were solicited from on-campus, religious organizations.

The data did not show an inverse relationship between “positive parenting” and shame proneness or risk-taking behavior. Significant direct relationships were found between negative parenting behaviors and shame proneness and negative parenting behaviors and risk-taking behaviors. It did not show an inverse relationship between ends-oriented religiosity, but it did show a direct relationship between means-oriented religiosity and risk-taking behaviors. It did not show a direct relationship between shame proneness and risk-taking behavior, instead it showed that guilt proneness was inversely related to some risk-taking behaviors. Gender differences were also shown. In general, the results suggest that the effects of negative parental behaviors on children may be more direct than positive parental behaviors. Problems and limitations are discussed.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.