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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Social-scientific research on spiritual and religious development is burgeoning. Amid this growth, there is progress but lack of consensus in defining spiritual development. A social-ecology model of spiritual development is offered, with a focus on the family context as well as other social contexts. Studies that have examined the interaction effects of multiple dimensions of religiosity and spirituality on children's outcomes are highlighted. Adolescent well-being has received extensive attention, with ample evidence of the positive role of religion and spirituality in youth development but uncertainty on the causal mechanisms. Many future directions are offered, including a call for refined methodology with longitudinal design and in-depth qualitative methods as well as greater incorporation of perspectives outside of psychology: cultural anthropology, comparative religion, and religious education/children's theology.

Keywords: child, adolescent, spirituality, religion, family, social ecology, definition, well-being, methodology

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