Keywords

religiosity, religion, adolescence, emerging adulthood

Abstract

According to IEA Civic Education Study, approximately half of American adolescents participate in religious groups (Torney-Purta et al. 2001) and half of American 18–24-year-olds report religious beliefs to be important (Inglehart et al. 2004). Thus, religious experiences are an important aspect of the lives of many adolescents and emerging adults (approximately ages 18 to the mid-20s) in the USA. Specifically, adolescents are fully immersed in identity exploration and ideally resolve this search in emerging adulthood. They embark on a quest to solidify their values and beliefs about countless issues, including religiosity. This essay will review the literature on religiosity among adolescents and emerging adults. First, terms are defined and then the developmental underpinnings that support young people’s religiosity are discussed. Next, theories and empirical work on religious development are articulated. Thereafter, literature on prevalence rates of religiosity and their psychological and behavioral correlates are reviewed. Then, research on the socializing agents of religiosity is summarized followed by a discussion of individual and group differences in religiosity. The essay concludes with future directions for scholarship and implications.

Original Publication Citation

Barry, C. M. & Nelson, L. J. (2011). Religiosity in adolescence and emerging adulthood. In R. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Vol 4, pp. 2239-2353. New York: Springer.

Document Type

Other

Publication Date

2011

Publisher

Springer

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Share

COinS