Title page for ETD etd-05312011-095723

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Barker, Katheryn A.
URN etd-05312011-095723
Title Contextual Influences on Faith Development in Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Marks, Loren Committee Chair
Baumgartner, Jennifer Committee Member
Chaney, Cassandra Committee Member
  • adolescents
  • emerging adults
  • faith development
  • religiosity
  • identity
Date of Defense 2011-05-04
Availability unrestricted
Recent research has revealed that high religiosity is associated with positive life outcomes in adolescents and emerging adults. However, the mechanisms and processes that underscore faith development, which is crucial to experiencing these outcomes, are not well understood. Furthermore, most research on faith development in adolescents and emerging adults is based on quantitative data and fails to examine the influence of developmental contexts on faith development. To address this, a racially diverse New England sample of 30 highly religious Christian, Jewish, New World faiths, and Muslim families were interviewed regarding their faith and family life. Focusing specifically on the faith development of the adolescents and emerging adults (age 12-25; N = 43) in this sample, qualitative coding and analysis revealed three key themes: (a) contexts, (b) personal beliefs, and (c) personal practices. Qualitative data is provided to explain each theme. Implications for religious institutions, families, and social service organizations are discussed.
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