Relations between youths' conceptions of spirituality and their developmental outcomes
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This follow up study to James et al. (in press) explored whether differences in youths' conceptions of spirituality were linked to their positive development. Additionally, the study tested whether differences in spirituality and religious identification altered the nature of the relationship between youths' self-perceived spirituality and six domains of positive development. Both concurrent and change models (spanning one year's time) were tested in this study. Using data from the National Study of Positive Youth Development, findings revealed a consistent trend across 6 domains of positive development. Youth who had coherent conceptions of being spiritual had significantly higher scores on all but one (i.e., confidence) domain of positive development. Specifically, youth in the established meaning spiritual group generally scored highest on positive development, with youth in the ambiguous spirituality group scoring the lowest. However, neither religious identification nor differences in conceptions of spirituality altered the nature of relations between spirituality and positive development. Implications of the findings are discussed.
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