The Neural Correlates Of Religious And Spiritual Development

2010 Words9 Pages
It is well established that adolescence marks a significant period for developmental changes physiologically (Erikson, 1968; Hall, 1904) and spiritually (Good & Willoughby, 2008). Researchers have begun exploring the neural correlates of religious and spiritual development, establishing that there is surge in brain connections and maturation during adolescence resulting in development of abstract thinking skills. At and around the transition to puberty, adolescents are able to perceive and consider multiple perspectives of their beliefs, especially in the light of reasoning, evidence, and rational thinking (Byrnes, 2003). Since this abstract thinking is targeted towards non-concrete ideas and deductive reasoning, concepts of religion and spirituality are subjected to reason as well. Adolescents are better able to test hypothesis related to beliefs such as spirituality, therefore engaging in more spiritual exploration than their younger counterparts (Chapell & Overton, 1998). Despite the unique developmental changes associated with puberty, available empirical evidence of spiritual conversion and commitment is still lacking in longitudinal evidence (Donelson, 1999).
Self-Worth
Self-worth, the regard a person feels for themselves (Harter 2012), is related to well-being and positive mental health (Kling et al, 1999). Self-worth is particularly important to study developmentally, especially since adolescents are going through identity development and thus rely on their family,

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