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Souls in TransitionThe Religious Lives of Emerging Adults in America$
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Christian Smith and Patricia Snell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371796.001.0001

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Religious Trajectories from the Teenage Years

Religious Trajectories from the Teenage Years

With Kyle Longest

(p.211) 8 Religious Trajectories from the Teenage Years
Souls in Transition

Christian Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies factors related to the teenage years that correlate statistically with religious differences during the emerging adult years and that act as causal influences of those differences. It also theorizes the causal social mechanisms that explain the associations between the identified teenage factors and the emerging adult religion outcomes. It examines combinations of factors that represent different paths to the same highly religious emerging adult outcome, as well as the main divergent paths that persons take through their religious and spiritual lives from the teenage years to the emerging adult years. Finally, the chapter examines the timing of first commitments to God, the question whether higher education corrodes religion, and the possibility that many emerging adults are subjectively but not objectively highly religious.

Keywords:   teenagers, emerging adults, first commitments, causal social mechanisms, religious life, religious differences

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