An empirical examination of spirituality as an internal developmental asset during middle childhood and adolescence.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark Fine, Professor and Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This mixed method study explores youths' perceived conceptions of spirituality and tests whether spirituality is an additional internal developmental asset (IDA). Spirituality was assessed using an open-ended question asking youth to define spirituality followed by a closed-ended item gauging the extent to which their definition reflected their own spirituality. Using grounded theory to assess youths' qualitative responses resulted in the creation of 10 “spiritual categories.” Quantitative analyses revealed that youths' self-assessment of spirituality had significant concurrent effects on six domains of positive youth development (PYD). However, the longitudinal change model only revealed a significant effect between youths' self-ratings of spirituality and their later Character scores. Additionally, we tested if religious identification moderated the relations between youth spirituality and the domains of PYD but no significant effects were found. The significant findings provide support for the notion that spirituality is an IDA, thus helping professionals might seriously consider fostering the spiritual lives of youth.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
adolescence, teenagers, spirituality, internal development asset

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