Description: The research literature within the past decade has documented the importance of religiosity and spirituality in helping many adults around the world cope with major life stressors and events. Still, the role of religiosity and spirituality in adolescence is not well-known as research during this developmental period has been limited by sample size, homogeneity of samples, ethnic restrictions, and use of scales with few items. The goal of the current study is to identify and understand adolescent levels of religiousness and spirituality, as well as their roles on later social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. The current study relied upon data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and utilized confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling in order to generate models of the relationships between the various latent variables. The religiosity and spirituality factors in the current study adequately measure religious perceptions and practices of adolescents over time. These constructs also play a role in later emotional well-being and self-esteem. Analyses also found adequate predictive abilities in the other model factors of delinquency, psychological well-being, self-esteem, and the social support. It is concluded from this study that religiosity and spirituality are not interchangeable constructs, and that more robust measures of both factors yield richer results. It is recommended that more comprehensive scales of religiosity and spirituality be developed and investigated in the future.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Miesse, Colette Ann