emerging adulthood, psychological adjustment, religiousness, spirituality


Although emerging adults are engaged in heightened levels of meaning-making (Barry and Abo-Zena (eds) in Emerging adults’ religiousness and spirituality: meaning-making in an age of transition. Oxford University Press, New York, 2014), research has focused on either religiousness or spirituality (R/S) in each study. While R/S individually have been associated with emerging adults’ psychological adjustment (Rew and Wong in J Adolesc Health 38:433–442, 2006), scholars have rarely explored the specific profiles of R/S adjustment. Thus, a diverse group of undergraduate students (N = 792; Mage = 19.61, SD= 1.86; 69% women) completed questionnaires online involving these constructs. Preliminary analyses revealed strong correlations between R/S, which might be indicative of multicollinearity. A two-step cluster analysis revealed three distinct adjustment profiles. Adjustment was positive in instances of high R/S and low R/S. However, moderate levels of R/S were associated with poor adjustment. Subsequent research may verify these profiles and further explore multicollinearity in religiousness and spirituality research.

Original Publication Citation

Barry, C. M., Christofferson, J. L., Boorman, E., & Nelson, L. J. (2020). Profiles of religiousness, spirituality, and psychological adjustment in emerging adults. Journal of Adult Development, 27, 201-211.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Adult Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor