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Soul SearchingThe Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers$
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Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195180954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019518095X.001.0001

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Adolescent Religion and Life Outcomes

Adolescent Religion and Life Outcomes

(p.218) 7 Adolescent Religion and Life Outcomes
Soul Searching

Christian Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Melinda Lundquist Denton

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the associations between religiosity and youth outcomes. It addresses the question of causality and selection effects, seeking to clarify whether and to what extent religiosity is associated with more positive adolescent life outcomes. It is shown that religious faith and practice can and does shape teenagers’ lives in positive and constructive ways. The story of Antwan, a 16-year-old African American Southern California boy, helps illustrate this point. His religion provides him with moral directives by which he has learned to negotiate his life in largely helpful ways.

Keywords:   American teenagers, adolescents, religion, life outcomes, causality, religiosity

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