Meaning Making in Emerging Adults' Faith Narratives: Identity, Attachment, and Religious Orientation
Journal of Psychology and Christianity
Using a mixed methods design, this study explored associations between identity, attachment, and religiosity, and emerging adults' turning point faith narratives since college graduation. The maturity of their faith journey narratives was analyzed utilizing a qualitative measure of the complexity of their reasoning (McLean & Pratt, 2006). Participants were 119 recent graduates from two Christian liberal arts colleges. In addition to ratings for levels of maturity, categorization of emerging themes found in faith narratives rated as mature revealed three prevailing themes: perspective changes, relational challenges, and experiences of grace. Participants also completed standard measures of ego identity, parental attachment, and intrinsic religiosity. Emerging adults who produced more mature and complex accounts of faith turning points were higher in identity exploration and intrinsic religiosity but not parental attachment. However, parental attachment was related to intrinsic religiosity. Our mixed methods design was valuable in capturing emerging adults' meaningful articulation of their faith journey.
Kimball, Cynthia N.; Cook, Kaye V.; Boyatzis, Chris; and Leonard, Kathleen C.. "Meaning Making in Emerging Adults' Faith Narratives: Identity, Attachment, and Religious Orientation." Journal of Psychology and Christianity 32, no. 3 (2013) : 221-233.