, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 39-53
Date: 16 Feb 2006

The Role of Spirituality Versus Religiosity in Adolescent Psychosocial Adjustment

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

This study investigated the interaction between religiosity (defined as church attendance) and spirituality (defined as personal beliefs in God or a higher power) on psychosocial adjustment. Four groups were created capturing 4 different religious/spiritual orientations. Differences were assessed between the groups on a wide range of psychosocial indicators. Participants included 6578 adolescents ages 13–18 encompassing a school district in Ontario, Canada. Results were striking with regards to the consistency with which religious youth reported more positive adjustment than did non-religious youth, regardless of level of spirituality. Spirituality may not be as salient an influence on behavior as religiosity. The secondary analyses indicated that the advantage for religiosity may not be entirely unique to church attendance, but rather a function of being part of any community. However, where religiosity may be uniquely associated with adjustment (over and above benefits associated with participation in any community) is in lower levels of risk behaviors.

Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Research interests include adolescent psychosocial development, religiosity, and identity formation.
Department of Psychology/Child and Youth Studies, Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Research interests include youth resilience, particularly with regard to academic underachievement and media/technology influence on lifestyle choices.