religiosity, religion, adolescence, emerging adulthood
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.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Barry, Carolyn McNamara and Nelson, Larry J., "Religiosity in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood" (2011). Faculty Publications. 4720.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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