ERIC Number: ED465850
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Methodological Issues and Challenges in the Study of American Youth and Religion.
Denton, Melinda Lundquist; Smith, Christian
This study discusses research on the religious and spiritual lives of U.S. youth, noting methodological issues and challenges that differ from those encountered when studying adults or when not exploring religious factors in the lives of youth. The first section presents a general introduction to key issues in studying youth and religion (research design, sampling methods, sample size, time dimensions, the research instrument, informed consent, confidentiality, incentives, and age range). The second section focuses on quantitative research, describing alternative methods of conducting surveys and some of the strengths and weaknesses associated with each method. The third section discusses challenges in using qualitative research, which often involves much more interpersonal interaction between the researcher and those being studied. The fourth section presents 15 suggested research questions that scholars consider important to investigate (family influences, social networks, personal narratives, congregations, personal faith and tradition, health, protective effects, spirituality, adult relationships, religious practices, media technology, morality, activities and aspirations, and group comparisons, and faith and moral formation). (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Qualitative Research, Religion, Research Methodology, Statistical Analysis
National Study of Youth and Religion, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #3057, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3057. For full text: http://www.youthandreligion.org.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Howard W. Odum Inst. for Research in Social Science.