Purpose and Spirituality: Exploring the Role of Fidelity in Diverse Adolescents

Drew Carr, Pamela Ebstyne King, Adrienne Maddix Meier

Abstract


Purpose is understood to reflect young people’s stable and generalized commitments to accomplish meaningful activity and contribute productively to society. Religion has been linked with purpose; however, the nature of this relationship is not well understood. Given that purpose and religion involve beliefs and devotion, the current study examined fidelity as a means of understanding this relationship in a group of religiously and culturally diverse youth from around the world. The participants were 30 adolescents aged 12-21 (M = 17.73 years) nominated for living with profound spirituality in their community. Consensual qualitative research (CQR) strategies were used. Analysis revealed that 29 of the participants reported a sense of purpose and all 30 participants described some aspect of fidelity that involved (a) beliefs, (b) values, (c) morals, and (d) resolute commitment. These findings highlight the centrality of fidelity as a link between religion and purpose among diverse youth. Future directions for research and practice are discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2014.56

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