Scaffolding for Religious Refinement in Adolescence

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:
Scaffolding for Religious Refinement in Adolescence

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This chapter explores how three critical contexts of youth—family, peers, and religious institutions—can facilitate or pose barriers for religious refinement in adolescence. What appears to be the most positive model is reminiscent of what other scholars have called “social scaffolding.” Scaffolding is providing support around the learning or development of youth, but leaving just enough space between the foundational scaffolding and where youth are in the process of developing their own religiosity. When youth know the support is there, but that they are free to further refine their faith relatively autonomously, they are more confident and happy in their religious and spiritual lives. When parents, peers, or religious institutions under- or over-scaffold, youth sense they are being misunderstood and often disengage from the process of religious refinement.

Keywords: family; peers; religious institutions; religious refinement; adolescence; scaffolding; religiosity; faith

Chapter.  11483 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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