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A Faith of Their OwnStability and Change in the Religiosity of America's Adolescents$
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Lisa Pearce and Melinda Lundquist Denton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199753895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753895.001.0001

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Scaffolding for Religious Refinement in Adolescence

Scaffolding for Religious Refinement in Adolescence

(p.143) 6 Scaffolding for Religious Refinement in Adolescence
A Faith of Their Own

Lisa D. Pearce

Melinda Lundquist Denton

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how three critical contexts of youth—family, peers, and religious institutions—can facilitate or pose barriers for religious refinement in adolescence. What appears to be the most positive model is reminiscent of what other scholars have called “social scaffolding.” Scaffolding is providing support around the learning or development of youth, but leaving just enough space between the foundational scaffolding and where youth are in the process of developing their own religiosity. When youth know the support is there, but that they are free to further refine their faith relatively autonomously, they are more confident and happy in their religious and spiritual lives. When parents, peers, or religious institutions under- or over-scaffold, youth sense they are being misunderstood and often disengage from the process of religious refinement.

Keywords:   family, peers, religious institutions, religious refinement, adolescence, scaffolding, religiosity, faith

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