ERIC Number: ED273884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Religious Beliefs and Commitment in Adolescence.
Ozorak, Elizabeth Weiss
Adolescence is a time when formal abstract thought becomes possible, enabling the individual to work through the highest stages of morality. Adolescents' understanding of religion and their commitment to it seem to differ sharply from those of children. It has been proposed that adolescents are likely to change, expand, or abandon their religious beliefs because of parental or peer pressure, cognitive development, or existential anxiety. Early, middle, and late adolescents (N=390) completed a questionnaire assessing family demographics and religious background, beliefs, practices, and experience; existential questioning; and closeness to family and peers. The results indicated that parents' religiousness was positively related to all aspects of adolescent religiousness, but there was little evidence of peer influence on religiousness. Existential questioning was positively associated with beliefs and private religious practices, but not with public religious practices or religious experience. Social aspects of religion appeared to be associated with increased commitment, particularly for subjects with close family ties. There were no significant sex differences in any aspect of religious commitment or change. These findings suggest that adolescents who are close to their parents are likely to adhere to the parents' belief system, even in the face of personal doubts. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (94th, Washington, DC, August 22-26, 1986).