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Thriving and Spirituality Among Youth: Research Perspectives and Future Possibilities

ISBN: 978-0-470-94830-9
367 pages
October 2011
Thriving and Spirituality Among Youth: Research Perspectives and Future Possibilities (0470948302) cover image
Thriving and Spirituality Among Youth empirically explores the connections between spirituality and positive youth development through the research of a set of scholars from the wide array of scientific fields including biology, sociology, and theology. This unique handbook shows how to foster positive development during adolescence, including youth contributions to families and communities in civil society. The material draws on research conducted with various populations including immigrant Hispanic, Chinese, Israeli, and Muslim-American youth. Social workers and mental health professionals will find a new, developmentally rigorous data base for a science of "adolescent spirituality."
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Foreword vii

Preface xi

Contributors xv

1 Research Perspectives and Future Possibilities in the Study of Thriving and Spirituality: A View of the Issues 1
Amy Eva Alberts Warren, Richard M. Lerner, and Erin Phelps

Part I: Biological Contexts of Positive Youth Development and Spirituality

2 Prefrontal Cortical Activation During Emotion Regulation: Linking Religious/Spiritual Practices With Well-Being 19
Heather L. Urry, Robert W. Roeser, Sara W. Lazar, and Alan P. Poey

3 Closeness of All Kinds: The Role of Oxytocin and Vasopressin in the Physiology of Spiritual and Religious Behavior 33
Elena L. Grigorenko

4 Positive Youth Development and Age-Related Changes in Cortical Thickness During Adolescence 61
Tomas Paus, Gabriel Leonard, Jacqueline V. Lerner, Richard M. Lerner, Michel Perron, G. Bruce Pike, Louis Richer, Roberto Toro, Suzanne Veillette, and Zdenka Pausova

5 Neural Correlates of Positive Youth Development 77
Sara W. Lazar

Part II: Individual and Psychological Contexts of Positive Youth Development and Spirituality

6 Strengthening Human Potential for Great Love-Compassion Through Elaborative Development 91
Amy Eva Alberts Warren

7 When Beliefs Fit and When They Don't: Religious Conversion, Spirituality, and Positive Youth Development 129
David Henry Feldman, Mona M. Abo-Zena, Robert W. Roeser, and Amy Eva Alberts Warren

8 The Shared Pathways of Religious/Spiritual Engagement and Positive Youth Development 167
Gabriel S. Spiewak and Lonnie R. Sherrod

9 Religious Adolescents' Views of Success and Spirituality 183
Jenni Menon Mariano, Robert W. Roeser, Paula Taylor Greathouse, and Sonia S. Issac Koshy

10 Assessing the Relationship Between Ethnic and Religious Identity Among and Between Diverse American Youth 205
Aerika S. Brittian and Margaret Beale Spencer

Part III: Social and Cultural Contexts of Positive Youth Development and Spirituality

11 Contributions Despite Challenges: Exploring Positive Youth Development Among Muslim American Youth 233
Selcuk R. Sirin, Mona M. Abo-Zena, and Hala Shehadeh

12 The Role of Religion and Worship Communities in the Positive Development of Immigrant Youth 255
Carola Suarez-Orozco, Sukhmani Singh, Mona M. Abo-Zena, Dan Du, and Robert W. Roeser

13 The Interplay of Self-Transcendence and Psychological Maturity Among Israeli College Students 289
Ofra Mayseless and Pninit Russo-Netzer

14 Belief Systems and Positive Youth Development Among Chinese and American Youth 309
Wei Zhang, Dan Du, and Shuangju Zhen

Afterword 333

Author Index 343

Subject Index 359

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AMY EVA ALBERTS WARREN, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University.

RICHARD M. LERNER, PhD, is the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. He has edited or coedited many publications, including The Handbook of Life-Span Development (Wiley), and was the founding editor of both the Journal of Research on Adolescence and Applied Developmental Science.

ERIN PHELPS, EdD, is a Research Scientist at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University.

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"Thriving and Spirituality Among Youth is an important book. The research described in the current book combines qualitative and quantitative multimethod approached applies toward understanding of positive youth development that features spirituality in relation to a number of diverse types of variables. This is a timely yet sparsely explored subject in studies of youth development. Apart from the importance of the topic of positive human development in youths in contrast to the huge number of studies on negative development leading to violence and risk behavior, this book documents the first stages of scholarly exploration based on the roles of spirituality and religion in youths’ lives that are potentially promising for the prevention of risk behavior." (PsycCRITIQUES, November 2012)
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