Adolescence as a sensitive period for spiritual development

  • Good M
  • Willoughby T
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—This paper explores the possibility that ado-lescence may be a sensitive period for the development of spirituality. Evidence suggests that many of the normative developmental characteristics of adolescence may make teenagers more responsive to spiritual overtures. We review research on the characteristics of adolescent psychological development in conjunction with research on spirituality. On the basis of this research, we hypoth-esize that adolescents may be more likely than individuals in other age groups to engage in spiritual exploration, have a conversion experience, and make spiritual com-mitments that endure throughout the life span. KEYWORDS—adolescent development; spirituality; religi-osity Developmental psychologists have shown renewed interest in the role of spirituality in the lives of children and adolescents. Researchers have suggested that spirituality and religiosity may be developmental assets for young people (Crawford, Wright, & Masten, 2006). For example, spirituality and religiosity are associated with greater mental

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent development
  • Religiosity
  • Spirituality

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