Psychology

Title

A congregation of one: Individualized religious beliefs among emerging adults

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Religious beliefs and practices were examined among 140 emerging adults aged 21 to 28, using quantitative and qualitative methods. There was great diversity in the importance they ascribed to religion, in their attendance at religious services, and in the content of their religious beliefs. Overall, their beliefs fell into four roughly even categories - agnostic/atheist, deist, liberal Christian, and conservative Christian - but there was also considerable diversity within each category. In combination, the quantitative and qualitative results showed that the participants' beliefs were highly individualized, that there was little relationship between childhood religious socialization and current religious attendance or beliefs, and that the participants were often skeptical of religious institutions. The results reflect the individualism of American society as well as the focus in emerging adulthood on forming one's own beliefs.

Publication Title

Journal of Adolescent Research

Publication Date

2002

Volume

17

Issue

5

First Page

451

Last Page

467

ISSN

0743-5584

DOI

10.1177/0743558402175002

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