identity, calling, being, religion, parenting


From a positive family psychology perspective, this study explores identity-centered religious calling, being, and action among parents of youth, that is, what religious parents believe they are called to be and to do in relation to their adolescent children. Twenty-nine Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families of youth (N = 58) were asked what they considered most important for them "to be" and "to do" as parents of faith. Qualitative analyses were conducted to determine major themes of responses. Parents indicated they believed they were called to be (A1) an example, (A2) authentic, and (A3) consistent; called to provide their children with (B1) support, (B2) love, and (B3) help; and called to teach their children (C1) religious values, (C2) the faith tradition, and (C3) the importance of religious identity. This study emphasizes the potential of identity-centered calling, being, and actions as valuable constructs in religious/spiritual formation. Implications are discussed regarding how religious and secular education may benefit from reconstructing emphasis on developing one's being.

Original Publication Citation

Dollahite, D. C., Marks, L. D., *Kear, T. M., *Lewis, B. M., & *Stokes, M. L. (2018). Beyond the bucket list: Identity-centered religious calling, being, and action among parents. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 10, 44-54.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Psychology of Religion and Spirituality




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor