Title

Religion and Adolescent Social Competence

Keywords

social competence, adolescent, religious influence

Abstract

A review of the research on religious influence on adolescent social competence shows that religious commitment is consistently related to increased competence. Research that is most often done relates religiosity to measures of low social competence such as substance abuse, deviant behavior, or self-derogation and reveals an inverse pattern of relationships. These findings are interpreted as supporting a Durkheimian view wherein religion helps people “live better” in their social order. Future research could profitably focus more on the social support function of the religious institution rather than concentrate on the social control function emphasized in past research. Religious commitment not only helps adolescents develop interpersonal skills and a set of positive values about life in the here and now, but it also assists adolescents in making important plans for the future. This ability to plan for the future is an important dimension of adolescent social competence preparatory for moving into the young adult years.

Original Publication Citation

"Religion and Adolescent Social Competence," pp. 195-219 in T. Gullota G. R. Adams, and R. Montemayor (Eds.), Developing Social Competency in Adolescence. Vol. Ill, Advances in Adolescence Development. Newbury Park, CA: Sage (with C. Carver).

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

1990

Publisher

Sage

Language

English

College

Religious Education

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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