Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 757–774 | Cite as

Institutional and Personal Spirituality/Religiosity and Psychosocial Adjustment in Adolescence: Concurrent and Longitudinal Associations

Empirical Research

Abstract

Spirituality/religiosity is hypothesized to promote positive adjustment among adolescents. The goals of this study were to assess the unique and joint associations between two dimensions of spirituality/religiosity—institutional and personal—and a range of domains of psychosocial adjustment (intrapersonal well-being, quality of parent–child relationship, substance use, and academic orientation) and to evaluate the direction of effects in these associations. Participants included 803 predominately Canadian-born adolescents (53 % female) from Ontario, Canada, who completed a survey in grade 11 and grade 12. At the concurrent level, higher personal spirituality/religiosity consistently and uniquely predicted more positive adjustment in terms of well-being, parental relationship, and academic orientation. Higher institutional spirituality/religiosity uniquely and consistently predicted lower substance use, particularly when personal spirituality/religiosity also was high. With regard to the direction of effects (i.e., longitudinal associations), institutional spirituality/religiosity predicted lower future substance use. The results imply that the personal and institutional dimensions of spirituality/religiosity may be associated differentially with psychosocial adjustment, and it may be only in the domain of substance use that spirituality/religiosity predicts change in behavior over time.

Keywords

Religion Spirituality Direction of effects Psychosocial adjustment Substance use 

References

  1. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Armsden, G. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (1987). The inventory of parent and peer attachment: Individual differences and their relationship to psychological well-being in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 5, 427–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469–480.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes, V. A., Treiber, F. A., & Johnson, M. H. (2004). Impact of transcendental meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African-American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension, 17, 366–369.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bartko, W. T., & Eccles, J. E. (2003). Adolescent participation in structured and unstructured activities: A person-centered analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 233–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bibby, R. W. (2009). The emerging millennials: How Canada’s newest generation is responding to change and choice. Lethbridge: Project Canada Books.Google Scholar
  7. Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94, S95–S120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cornwall, M., Albrecht, S. L., Cunningham, P. H., & Pitcher, B. L. (1986). The dimensions of religiosity: A conceptual model with an empirical test. Review of Religious Research, 27, 226–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1995). Domains and facets? Hierarchical personality assessment using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 64, 21–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Desrosiers, A., Kelley, B. S., & Miller, L. (2010). Parent and peer relationships and relational spirituality in adolescents and young adults. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3, 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Desrosiers, A., & Miller, L. (2007). Relational spirituality and depression in adolescent girls. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63, 1021–1037.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Desrosiers, A., & Miller, L. (2008). Substance use versus anxiety in adolescents: Are some disorders more spiritual than others? Research in the Scientific Study of Religion, 19, 237–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dew, R. E., Daniel, S. S., Goldston, D. B., & Koenig, H. G. (2008). Religion, spirituality, and depression in adolescent psychiatric outpatients. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 196, 247–251.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Donovan, J. E., Jessor, R., & Costa, F. M. (1988). Syndrome of problem behavior in adolescence: A replication. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 762–765.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Feldman, B. J., Masyn, K. E., & Conger, R. D. (2009). New approaches to studying problem behaviors: A comparison of methods for modeling longitudinal, categorical adolescent drinking data. Developmental Psychology, 45, 652–676.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Fetzer Institute. (1999). Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research. Retrieved from: http://www.fetzer.org/images/stories/pdf/ MultidimensionalBooklet.pdf on August 29, 2009.
  17. Fletcher, A. C., Newsome, D., Nikerson, P., & Bazley, R. (2001). Social network closure and child adjustment. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 47, 500–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ginsburg, G., La Greca, A., & Silverman, W. (1998). Social anxiety in children with anxiety disorders: Relation with social and emotional functioning. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26, 175–185.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Glanville, J., Sikkink, D., & Hernandez, E. (2008). Religious involvement and educational outcomes: The role of social capital and extracurricular participation. The Sociological Quarterly, 49, 105–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Good, M., & Willoughby, T. (2011). Evaluating the direction of effects in the relation between religious versus non-religious activities, academic success, and substance use. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(6), 680–693.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Good, M., Willoughby, T., & Busseri, M. (2010). Stability and change in adolescent spirituality/religiosity: A person-centred approach. Developmental Psychology, 47(2), 538–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Good, M., Willoughby, T., & Fritjers, J. (2009). Just another club? The distinctiveness of the relation between religious service attendance and adolescent psychosocial adjustment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 1153–1171.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Granqvist, P., Ivarsson, T., Broberg, A., & Hagekull, B. (2007). Examining relations among attachment, religiosity, and new age spirituality using the Adult Attachment Interview. Developmental Psychology, 43, 590–601.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Gunnoe, M. L., Hetherington, E. M., & Reiss, D. (1999). Parental religiosity, parenting style, and adolescent social responsibility. Journal of Early Adolescence, 19, 199–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hardy, S. A., Walker, L. J., Rackham, D. D., & Olsen, J. A. (2012). Religiosity and adolescent empathy and aggression: The mediating role of moral identity. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 4(3), 237–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hart, T. (2006). Spiritual experiences and capacities of children and youth. In E. C. Roehlkepartain, P. E. King, L. Wagener, & P. L. Benson (Eds.), The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 163–177). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hill, P. C., & Edwards, E. (2013). Measurement in the psychology of religiousness and spirituality: Existing measures and new frontiers. In K. I. Pargament, J. J. Exline, & J. W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality (Vol 1): Context, theory, and research. APA handbooks in psychology (pp. 51–77). Washington, DC: APA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hill, P. C., Pargament, K. I., Hood, R. W., McCullough, M. E., Swyers, J. P., Larson, D. B., et al. (2000). Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: Points of commonality, points of departure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 30, 51–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hood, R. W., & Belzen, J. A. (2005). Research methods in the psychology of religion. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), The handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 62–79). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  30. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hunsberger, B., Alisat, S., Pancer, S. M., & Pratt, M. (1996). Religious fundamentalism and religious doubts: Content, connections and complexity of thinking. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 6, 201–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jankoswki, P. J., & Sandage, S. J. (2011). Meditative prayer, hope, adult attachment, and forgiveness: A proposed model. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3(2), 115–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kelley, B. S., & Miller, L. (2007). Life satisfaction and spirituality in adolescents. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 18, 233–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. King, P. E. (2008). Spirituality as fertile ground for positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner, R. W. Roeser, & E. Phelps (Eds.), Positive youth development and spirituality: From theory to research (pp. 55–73). West Conshohocken: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kirkpatrick, L. A., & Shaver, P. R. (1992). An attachment-theoretical approach to romantic love and religious beliefs. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 266–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  37. Koenig, H. G. (2008). Concerns about measuring “spirituality” in research. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 196, 349–355.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Kroger, J. (1996). Identity in adolescence. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Lerner, R. M., & Castellino, D. (2002). Contemporary developmental systems theory and adolescence: Developmental systems and applied developmental science. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 122–135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Lerner, R. M., Dowling, E. M., & Anderson, P. M. (2003). Positive youth development: Thriving as the basis of personhood and civil society. Applied Developmental Science, 7, 172–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lerner, R. M., Roeser, R. W., & Phelphs, E. (2008). Positive youth development and spirituality: From theory to research. West Conshohocken: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  42. Lippman, L. H., & Keith, L. M. (2006). The demographics of spirituality among youth: International perspectives. In E. C. Roehlkepartain, P. E. King, L. Wagener, & P. L. Benson (Eds.), The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 109–123). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Little, T. D., Card, N. A., Preacher, K. J., & McConnell, E. (2009). Modeling longitudinal data from research on adolescence. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 15–54). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  44. Loury, L. (2004). Does church attendance really increase schooling? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 43, 119–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mahoney, J., & Stattin, H. (2000). Leisure activities and adolescent antisocial behavior: The role of structure and social context. Journal of Adolescence, 23, 113–127.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Mason, W. A., & Windle, M. (2002). A longitudinal study of the effects of religiosity on adolescent alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Journal of Adolescent Research, 17, 346–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McCullough, M. W., & Willoughby, B. L. B. (2009). Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 69–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Nonnemaker, J., McNeeley, C. A., & Blum, R. W. (2006). Public and private domains of religiosity and adolescent smoking transitions. Social Science and Medicine, 62, 3084–3095.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Pargament, K. I. (1999). The psychology of religion and spirituality? Yes and no. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 9, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pearce, M. J., Little, T. D., & Perez, J. E. (2003). Religiousness and depressive symptoms among adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32, 267–276.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Perez, J. E., Little, T. D., & Henrich, C. C. (2009). Spirituality and depressive symptoms in a school-based sample of adolescents: A longitudinal examination of mediated and moderated effects. Journal of Adolescent Health, 44, 380–386.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Possel, P., Martin, N. C., Garber, J., Banister, A. W., Pickering, N. K., & Hautzinger, M. (2011). Bidirectional relations of religious orientation and depressive symptoms in adolescents: A short-term longitudinal study. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3, 24–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Radloff, L. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Regnerus, M. D. (2000). Shaping schooling success: Religious socialization and educational outcomes in metropolitan public schools. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 39, 363–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Regnerus, M. D. (2003). Moral communities and adolescent delinquency: Religious contexts and community social control. The Sociological Quarterly, 44, 523–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Regnerus, M. D., & Burdette, A. (2006). Religious change and adolescent family dynamics. The Sociological Quarterly, 47, 175–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Regnerus, M. D., & Elder, G. H. (2003). Religion and vulnerability among low-risk adolescents. Social Science Research, 32, 633–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Regnerus, M. D., & Smith, C. (2005). Selection effects in studies of religious influence. Review of Religious Research, 47, 23–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rew, L., & Wong, Y. J. (2006). A systematic review of associations among religiosity/spirituality and adolescent health attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38, 433–442.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Ritt-Olson, A., et al. (2004). The protective influence of spirituality and “health-as-a-value” against monthly substance use among adolescents varying in risk. Journal of Adolescent Health, 34, 192–199.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self image. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Sallquist, J., Eisenberg, N., French, D. C., Purwono, U., & Suryanti, T. A. (2010). Indonesian adolescents’ spiritual and religious experiences and their longitudinal relations with socioemotional functioning. Developmental Psychology, 46, 699–716.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Schafer, J. L., & Graham, J. W. (2002). Missing data: Our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7, 147–177.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Schapman, A. M., & Inderbitzen-Nolan, H. M. (2002). The role of religious behavior in adolescent depressive and anxious symptomatology. Journal of Adolescence, 25, 631–643.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Seidlitz, L., Abernathy, A. D., Duberstein, P. R., Evinger, J. S., Chang, T. H., & Lewis, B. L. (2002). Development of the Spiritual Transcendence Index. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 439–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sharp, S. (2010). How does prayer help manage emotions? Social Psychology Quarterly, 73, 417–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shoda, Y., Mischel, W., & Peake, P. K. (1990). Predicting adolescent cognitive and self-regulatory competencies from preschool delay of gratification: Identifying diagnostic conditions. Developmental Psychology, 26, 978–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Smith, C. (2003a). Theorizing religious effects among American adolescents. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42, 17–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Smith, C. (2003b). Religious participation and network closure among American adolescents. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42, 259–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Smith, C., & Denton, M. L. (2005). Soul searching: The religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Smith, C., Denton, M. L., Faris, R., & Regnerus, M. D. (2002). Mapping American adolescent religious participation. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 597–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Lens, W., Luyckx, K., Goossens, L., Beters, W., et al. (2007). Conceptualizing parental autonomy support: Adolescent perceptions of promotion of independence versus promotion of volitional functioning. Developmental Psychology, 43, 633–646.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Stark, R. (1996). Religion as context: Hellfire and delinquency one more time. Sociology of Religion, 57, 163–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Stark, R. (2002). Physiology and faith: Addressing the “universal” gender differences in religious commitment. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 495–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Statistics Canada. (2001). Religion and sex for population, for Canada. Retrieved July 10, 2013, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo26a-eng.htm.
  76. Statistics Canada. (2006). Population by ethnic origin. Retrieved April 6, 2003, http://www12.statcan.ca.
  77. Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2000). Parental monitoring: A reinterpretation. Child Development, 71, 1072–1085.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: Adolescent–parent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Underwood, L. G., & Teresi, J. A. (2002). The daily spiritual experiences scale: Development, theoretical description, reliability, exploratory factor analysis and preliminary construct validity using health-related data. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 22–33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. Walker, C., Ainette, M. G., Wills, T. A., & Mendoza, D. (2007). Religiosity and substance use: Test of an indirect-effect model in early and middle adolescence. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 84–96.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Willoughby, T., & Hamza, C. (2011). A longitudinal examination of the bidirectional associations among perceived parenting behaviors, adolescent disclosure and problem behavior across the high school years. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(4), 463–478.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Zinnbauer, B. J., & Pargament, K. I. (2005). Religiousness and spirituality. In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), The psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 121–142). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrock UniversitySaint CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations