When Down Is Up: Complexities in Adolescent Religious Change

Lisa D. Pearce and Melinda Lundquist Denton

in A Faith of Their Own

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753895
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894949 | DOI:
When Down Is Up: Complexities in Adolescent Religious Change

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Narratives of religious change in adolescence are the focus of this chapter. Included is an exploration of what youth mean when they say they have become more or less religious or stayed the same. Few youth describe dynamics in their religiosity by referencing the content of their religious beliefs. A greater proportion discuss their religiosity in terms of religious conduct such as religious service attendance or prayer, but these are usually youth who are describing a decrease in religiosity during adolescence. Youth who rely on the centrality of religion in their life to describe stability or an increase in religiosity are (1) often the Abiders or Adapters who started with a very high level of religious salience and (2) at times report stability or increase in religiosity’s centrality despite decreasing religious conduct. In this period of life called adolescence, as autonomy grows and brain development continues, youth find increasing meaning and confidence in personally refining their religiosity.

Keywords: Youth; religious change; religiosity; adolescence; meaning

Chapter.  9988 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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