Sanum Shafi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Science


Matthew Mulvaney


aggression;Islamophobia;parental acceptance-rejection;parenting;parenting styles;prejudice

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


There is empirical evidence that parents are a primary context influencing the development of prejudice in their children. This research extends that body of work to identify specific ways parents socialize prejudice towards the Muslim community. The current study thereby provides an original contribution by identifying important parenting processes that increase Islamophobic attitudes in offspring. Baumrind’s parenting styles framework and Rohner’s theory of Parental Acceptance-Rejection provided the theoretical foundation for the study. Participants were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk and data was collected via a Qualtrics survey. The sample consisted of 302 late adolescents (18-25) residing in the United States. 151 participants answered questions on maternal parenting and 151 participants answered questions on paternal parenting. Findings demonstrate that parental rejection, authoritarian parenting, and parental anti-Muslim discourse by both mothers and fathers impact offspring Islamophobia. Findings also indicate that some of that influence is explained through the increased aggression that results from rejection and authoritarian parenting. In addition, the current study employed a principal components analysis in order to assess the latent structure of Islamophobia as a construct and to further clarify the nature of the Islamophobia construct. The results highlight the central role of parenting in the development of prejudice and suggest important avenues for future research and intervention.


Open Access