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Positive Youth Development and Spirituality

From Theory to Research

Edited by Richard M. Lerner Robert W. Roeser Erin Phelps

Foreword by Peter L. Benson

Bringing together a never-before-assembled network of biologists, psychologists, and sociologists, Positive Youth Development and Spirituality scientifically examines how spirituality and its cultivation may affect the positive development of adolescents.

Chapters provide groundbreaking new discussions of conceptual, theoretical, definitional, and methodological issues that need to be addressed when exploring the relationships between spirituality and development. Throughout the book, contributors recommend ways in which the research on the spirituality/positive youth development connection may be integral in building the larger field of spiritual development as a legitimate and active domain of developmental science. This volume, which is sure to be seen as a seminal contribution to a field in need of theoretical underpinnings, will be of interest to scholars and scientists in the fields of biology and the social and behavioral sciences.

Contributors include: Mona Abo-Zena, Jeffrey Jensen Arnnett, Peter L. Benson, Marina Umaschi Bers, Aerika Brittian, William Damon, Angela M. DeSilva, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, David Henry Feldman, Simon Gächter, Elena L. Grigorenko, Sonia S. Isaac, Lene Arnett Jensen, Carl N. Johnson, Linda Juang, Pamela Ebstyne King, Richard M. Lerner, Jennifer Menon, Na’ilah Sued Nasir, Guerda Nicolas, Toma´š Paus, Stephen C. Peck, Erin Phelps, Alan P. Poey, Robert W. Roeser, W. George Scarlett, Lonnie R. Sherrod, Gabriel S. Spiewak, Chris Starmer, Moin Syed, Janice L. Templeton, Heather L. Urry, and Richard Wilkinson.

Foreword / vii
Peter L. Benson

Preface / xi

1. Positive Development, Spirituality, and Generosity in Youth: An Introduction

to the Issues / 3
Richard M. Lerner, Robert W. Roeser, & Erin Phelps

Part 1 Conceptual Issues in Operationalizing Spirituality in Positive Youth Development

2. The Spirit of Spiritual Development / 25
Carl N. Johnson

3. Spirituality and Positive Youth Development: The Problem of Transcendence / 42
W. George Scarlett

4. Spirituality as Fertile Ground for Positive Youth Development / 55
Pamela Ebstyne King

5. Self and Identity Processes in Spirituality and Positive Youth Development /  74
Robert W. Roeser, Sonia S. Issac, Mona Abo-Zena, Aerika Brittian, & Stephen C. Peck

Part 2 Biological Contributions to the Spirituality- PYD Relation

6. Genetics of Faith: An Oxymoron Worth Examining / 109
Elena L. Grigorenko

7. Cooperative Behavior in Adolescence: Economic Antecedents and Neural Underpinnings / 128
Tomáš Paus, Simon Gächter, Chris Starmer, & Richard Wilkinson

8. How Religious/Spiritual Practices Contribute to Well-Being: The Role of  Emotion Regulation / 145
Heather L. Urry & Alan P. Poey

Part 3: Individual Contributions to the Spirituality-PYD Relation

9. The Role of Developmental Change in Spiritual Development / 167
David Henry Feldman

10. Spirituality, “Expanding Circle Morality,” and Positive Youth Development / 197
Janice L. Templeton & Jacquelynne S. Eccles

11. The Role of Spirituality and Religious Faith in Supporting Purpose in Adolescence / 210
Jennifer Menon Mariano and William Damon

12. From “Worm Food” to “Infinite Bliss”: Emerging Adults’ Views of Life after Death / 231
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Part 4: Social and Cultural Contexts of the Spirituality-PYD Relation

13. Immigrant Civic Engagement and Religion: The Paradoxical Roles of Religious Motives and Organizations / 247
Lene Arnett Jensen

14. Ethnic Identity and Spirituality / 262
Linda Juang & Moin Syed

15. Considering Context, Culture, and Development in the Relationship between Spirituality and Positive Youth Development / 285
Na’ilah Suad Nasir

16. Application of the Ecological Model: Spirituality Research with Ethnically

 Diverse Youths / 305
Guerda Nicolas & Angela M. DeSilva

17. Possible Interrelationships between Civic Engagement, Positive Youth Development, and Spirituality/Religiosity / 322
Lonnie R. Sherrod & Gabriel S. Spiewak

18. A Palace in Time: Supporting Children’s Spiritual Development through

 New Technologies / 339
Marina Umaschi Bers

List of Contributors / 359

Index / 367