Personal Rituals in Adolescence: Their Role in Emotion Regulation and Identity Formation

In: Journal of Empirical Theology

Abstract

This study examines the meaning of personal rituals for the adolescent identity development and emotion regulation. Both are ritual functions and can be characterized as adolescent developmental tasks. However, there is no consistent pattern in previous research to explain the processes for how identity is formed and emotions are regulated during the performance of personal rituals. Therefore, a questionnaire study among 410 (182 male) adolescents (age: M = 15.06, SD = .61) was carried out. The questionnaire used the Berzonsky Identity Style Inventory and various measures to assess different experiences during the ritual (i.e. mood, emotion regulation, reality-transforming experiences). After separating spiritual from non-spiritual rituals, the results showed that spiritual rituals were used as a means for emotion regulation. Furthermore, self-reflection was closely related to the information-oriented identity style. The findings are discussed against the background of the impact of spiritual practices for emotional and identity development in adolescence.

  • BaronR. M. & KennyD. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology511173-1182. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1173.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BellC. (1992). Ritual theory ritual practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • BerzonskyM. D. (1989). Identity style: Conceptualization and measurement. Journal of Adolescent Research4267-281. doi: 10.1177/074355488943002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BerzonskyM. D. (1990) Self-construction over the Life-span: A Process Perspective on Identity Formation. In G. J. Neimeyer & R. A. Neimeyer (Eds.) Advances in Personal Construct Psychology (Vol. 1 pp. 155-186). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BerzonskyM. D. (1992). Identity Style Inventory (ISI) (revised version). Cortland, NY: State University of New York at Cortland.

  • BerzonskyM. D. & SullivanC. (1992). Social-cognitive aspects of identity style. Need for cognition, experiential openness, and introspection. Journal of Adolescent Research7140-155. doi: 10.1177/074355489272002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BoyerP. & LiénardP. (2006). Why ritualized behavior? Precaution systems and action parsing in developmental, pathological and cultural rituals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences291-56. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X06009332.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BremnerR. H.KooleS. L. & BushmanB. J. (2011). “Pray for those who mistreat you”: Effects of prayer on anger and aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin37830-837. doi: 10.1177/0146167211402215.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DemmrichS. (2013). Emotionsregulative Effekte des Gebets bei Jugendlichen: Eine explorative Studie an familial religiös und nicht-religiös Sozialisierten [Emotion-regulative effects of prayer among adolescents: An exploratory study among familial religious and non-religious socialized youth]. München: AVM.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DemmrichS. (2015). Prayer in religiously affiliated and non-affiliated adolescents: An exploratory study on socialization, concept of prayers and the God image in East Germany. International Journal of Practical Theology1940-59. doi: 10.1515/ijpt-2014-1001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DollingerS. M. (1995). Identity styles and the five-factor model of personality. Journal of Research in Personality29475-479. doi: 10.1006/jrpe.1995.1028.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DomsgenM. (2004). Familie und Religion: Grundlage einer religionspädagogischen Theorie der Familie [Family and religion: Foundations of a religious pedagogical theory of family]. Leipzig: EVA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DomsgenM. (2015). Religiöse Pluralität anders wahrnehmen [Religious plurality in a different manner]. In H. SchlußS. TschidaT. Krobath & M. Domsgen (Eds.) Wir sind alle “andere”: Schule und Religion in der Pluralität (pp. 145-164). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DuriezB. & SoenensB. (2006). Personality, identity styles, and religiosity: An integrative study among late and middle adolescents. Journal of Adolescence29119-135. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.11.007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EmmonsR. A. & PaloutzianR. F. (2003). The psychology of religion. Annual Review of Psychology54377-402. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145024.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EriksonE. H. (1966). Ontogeny of ritualization in man. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London251 B337-349.

  • EriksonE. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: Norton. (Original work published 1959).

  • FieseB. H. (1992). Dimensions of family rituals across two generations: Relation to adolescent identity. Family Process31151-162. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.1992.00151.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GebeltJ. L.ThompsonS. K. & MieleK. A. (2009). Identity style and spirituality in a collegiate context. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research9219-232. doi: 10.1080/15283480903344539.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GliskyM. L.TatarynD. J.TobiasB. A.KihlstromJ. F. & McConkeyK. M. (1991). Absorption, openness to experience, and hypnotizability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology60263-272. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.60.1.144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GrantA. M.FranklinJ. & LangfordP. (2002). The self-reflection and insight scale: A new measure of private self-consciousness. Social Behavior and Personality30821-836.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GrobA. & SmolenskiC. (2009). FEEL-KJ: Fragebogen zur Erhebung der Emotionsregulation bei Kindern und Jugendlichen [FEEL-KJ: Questionnaire on emotion regulation in children and adolescents] (2nd ed.). Bern: Huber.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HoodR. W. (1975). The construction and preliminary validation of a measure of reported mystical experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion1429-41. doi:10.2307/1384454.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HunsbergerB.PrattM. & PancerS. M. (2001). Adolescent identity formation: Religious exploration and commitment. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research14365-386. doi: 10.1207/S1532706XID0104_04.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HutsebautD. (1997). Identity status, ego-integration, God representation and religious cognitive styles. Journal of Empirical Theology1039-54. doi: 10.1163/157092597X00032.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JanssenJ.de HartJ. & den DraakC. (1989). Praying practices. Journal of Empirical Theology228-39. doi: 10.1163/157092589X00103.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JosephS. & DiducaD. (2001). Schizotypy and religiosity in 13-18 year old school pupils. Mental Health Religion & Culture463-69. doi: 10.1080/713685616.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KapfererB. (1979). Emotion and feeling in Sinhalese healing rites. Social Analysis1153-176.

  • KöppingK.-P.LeistleB. & RudolphM. (2006). Introduction. In K.-P. KöppingB. Leistle & M. Rudolph (Eds.) Ritual and identity. Performative practices as effective transformations of social reality (pp. 9-30). Berlin: LIT Verlag.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KrohneH. W.EgloffB.KohlmannC.-W. & TauschA. (1996). Untersuchungen mit einer deutschen Form der Positive and Negative Affect Schedule [Studies with a German version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule] (PANAS). Diagnostica42139-156.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LarsonR. (1995). Secrets in the bedroom: Adolescents’ private use of media. Journal of Youth and Adolescence24535-550. doi: 10.1007/BF01537055.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LuyckxK.SoenensB.BerzonskyM. DSmitsI.GossensL. & VansteenkisteM. (2007). Information-oriented identity processing, identity consolidation, and well-being: The moderating role of autonomy, self-reflection, and self-rumination. Personality and Individual Differences431099-1111. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.03.003.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MarciaJ. E. (1966). Development and validation of ego-identity status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology3551-558. doi: 10.1037/h0023281.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McKinneyJ. P. & McKinneyK. (1999). Prayers in the lives of adolescents. Journal of Adolescence22279-290. doi: 10.1006/jado.1999.0216.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PargamentK. I. (2011). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. New York: Guilford Press.

  • PhilippsT. M. & PittmanJ. F. (2007). Adolescent psychological well-being by identity style. Journal of Adolescence301021-1034. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.03.002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RappaportR. A. (1999). Ritual and religion in the making of humanity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • RiesebrodtM. (2007). Cultus und Heilsversprechen [Cultus and promises of salvation]. München: Beck.

  • RitzT. & DahmeB. (1995). Die Absorption-Skala: Konzeptuelle Aspekte, psychometrische Kennwerte und Dimensionalität einer deutschsprachigen Adaptation [The Absorption Scale: Conceptual aspects psychometric parameters and dimensionality in the German adaptation]. Diagnostica4153-61.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schmidt-Denter U. & Schick H. (2005). Kurzform des Fragebogens zur personalen und sozialen Identität von Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen (FPSI-K) [Short version of the Questionnaire of personal and social identity of youths and adults] Unpublished manuscript University of Köln Köln. Retrieved from http://www.schmidt-denter.de/forschung/identitaet/pdf-files/FB_17.pdf [September 03 2018].

  • SchnellT. (2009). Implizite Religiosität [Implicit religiosity] (2nd ed.). Lengerich: Pabst.

  • SilkJ. S.SteinbergL. & MorrisA. S. (2003). Adolescents’ emotion regulation in daily life: Links to depressive symptoms and problem behavior. Child Development741869-1880. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-8624.2003.00643.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith T. W. (2012). Beliefs about God across time and countries: Report for the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and GESIS. Unpublished manuscript University of Chicago Chicago IL. Retrieved from http://www.norc.org/PDFs/Beliefs_about_God_Report.pdf [September 03 2018].

  • SmolenskiC. (2006). Emotionsregulation und subjektives Wohlbefinden im Jugendalter [Emotion regulation and subjective well-being during adolescence]. Hamburg: Kovač.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SobelM. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. Sociological Methodology13290-312. doi: 10.2307/270723.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SpilkaB.HoodR. W.HunsbergerB. & GorsuchR. (2003). The psychology of religion: An empirical approach (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SpilkaB. & LaddK. L. (2013). The psychology of prayer. New York, NY: Guilford.

  • TempletonJ. L. & EcclesJ. S. (2006). The relation between spiritual development and identity processes. In E. C. RoehlkepartainP. E. KingL. Wagener & P. L. Benson (Eds.) The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 252-265). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TillichP. (1960). The lost dimension in religion. In M. van Doren (Ed.) Adventures of the mind (pp. 47-57). New York, NY: Knopf.

  • VerhoevenD. & HutsebautD. (1995). Identity status and religiosity. Journal of Empirical Theology846-64. doi: 10.1163/157092595X00115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WattsF. N. (2007). Emotion regulation and religion. In J. J. Gross (Ed.) Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 504-520). New York, NY: Guilford.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WattsF. N. & WilliamsM. (1988). The psychology of religious knowing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • WhitingJ. W. M. (1990). Adolescent rituals and identity conflicts. In J. W. StiglerR. A. Shweder & G. Herdt (Eds.) Cultural psychology. Essays on comparative human development (pp. 357-365). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WolfradtU. (2013). Ekstase und Depersonalisation: Zum Phänomen der Außerkörpererfahrungen [Ecstacy and depersonalisation: To the phenomenon of out-of-body experiences]. In T. PassieW. Belschner & E. Petrow (Eds.) Ekstasen. Kontexte— Formen—Wirkungen (pp. 211-223). Würzburg: Egon.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WulfC.AlthansB.AudehmK.BauschC.GöhlichM.StingS.TervoorenA. & Wagner-WilliM. (2010). Ritual and identity: The staging and performing of rituals in the lives of young people. London: The Tufnell Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 238 206 19
Full Text Views 56 50 2
PDF Downloads 24 21 1