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The Role of Religion in the Transition to Adulthood for Young Emerging Adults

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Abstract

Recent research has highlighted the role of culture in emerging adulthood (age between 18 and 25 years). However, most studies have examined majority cultures (e.g., China) as well as subcultures (e.g., American ethnic minorities). Thus, work on other aspects of culture such as religion is needed given the emerging evidence that it may have an impact on development. This study explored the role of religious culture in the emerging adulthood of college students. Participants were 445 undergraduates (ages 18–20 years) from institutions that were Catholic (31 males, 89 females), Mormon (48 males, 200 females), and public (21 males, 56 females). Results found religious differences in (a) the criteria young people deemed necessary for adulthood, (b) the extent to which emerging adults felt they had achieved these criteria, (c) various aspects of spirituality including practices and beliefs, and (d) the behaviors in which emerging adults engage.

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Correspondence to Carolyn McNamara Barry.

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Portions of this study were presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence, Baltimore, Maryland, in March 2004.

Assistant Professor of Psychology at Loyola College in Maryland. She received her PhD in 2001 from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her major research interests are in social-and self-development during adolescence and emerging adulthood.

Assistant Professor of Marriage, Family, and Human Development in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD in 2000 from the University of Maryland, College Park. His major research interests are in social-and self-development during early childhood and emerging adulthood.

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Barry, C.M., Nelson, L.J. The Role of Religion in the Transition to Adulthood for Young Emerging Adults. J Youth Adolescence 34, 245–255 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-005-4308-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-005-4308-1

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