Theses Doctoral

Religious Community Involvement in Adolescence: The Profundity of Lived Religion for Teens

Jordan, Alexandra

The present study investigates the contribution of religious community involvement to adolescent development, including the processes of identity formation and moral development. Three key areas are explored: 1) the precursors of faith community membership; 2) the process by which a belief system is chosen; and 3) the ways in which religious belief is supported by a faith community once it is joined. Of specific interest are the ways in which religious community integration nurtures the evolution of religious belief, including through intergenerational support, religious peer groups, and a connection to the ritual and history of a faith tradition.

In particular, the influence of peers is examined, both for its role in the initial establishment of a religious identity as well as its role in the maintenance and growth of religious belief. The current study utilizes a phenomenological approach to the qualitative data analysis of adolescent interviews with subjects ranging in age from 12-21 years, from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities, representing a religiously and ethnically diverse sample. The narratives of participants have been analyzed to allow for the distillation of themes across contexts. This phenomenological analytic framework allows for exploratory hypothesis generating on dimensions of developmental support derived from religious community.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Miller, Lisa Jane
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 20, 2021