Reconstructing Faith Narratives: Doing Research on the Faith of Adolescents

in Journal of Youth and Theology
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Various qualitative studies on adolescents and faith have been conducted at the research Centre for Youth, Church and Culture of the Protestant Theological University Amsterdam-Groningen in recent years. One finding of the Centre is that there exists a lack of knowledge about good methodologies for research on faith and adolescents. This article presents an explanation of why specific methodologies are needed for adolescents and reviews possible research approaches based on the authors’ experiences. The researchers argue for a qualitative approach and seek to contribute to the discussion of investigations of adolescents’ faith from the authors’ experiences in empirical qualitative studies on adolescents and faith, as well as the literature.

Reconstructing Faith Narratives: Doing Research on the Faith of Adolescents

in Journal of Youth and Theology

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References

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1

 See P.M. Sonnenberg‘Youth Worship in Protestant Context’ (PhD diss., Protestant Theological University, 2015) and H. Van Wijnen and M. Barnard, ‘Connected to the Wellspring: Ecclesiological Capabilities of Small Groups of Adolescents,’ International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church13.3 (2013): 208–221.

3

F. Schweitzer‘Religion in Childhood and Adolescence: How Should It Be Studied? A Critical Review of Problems and Challenges in Methodology and Research’Journal of Empirical Theology27.1 (2014) 17–35 23.

5

J.D. Aten B. C. Hernandez‘A 25-year Review of Qualitative Research Published in Spiritually and Psychologically Oriented Journals,’ Journal of Psychology and Christianity24 (2005) 266–277; J.R. Schwab ‘Religious Meaning Making: Positioning Identities Through Stories’ Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 5.3 (2013) 219–226.

6

N.T. Ammerman‘Religious Identities and Religious Institutions’ in Handbook of the Sociology of Religionedited by M. Dillon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2003) 224.

7

A. Frace‘Adolescents’ in Doing Research with Children and Adolescentsedited by S. Fraser (London: Sage Publications2004) 178.

9

A. Grysman and J.A. Hudson‘Abstracting and Extracting: Causal Coherence and the Development of the Life Story’Memory 18.6 (2010) 565–580.

10

Schweitzer‘Religion in Childhood’21.

12

T. Faix‘Semantics of Faith. Methodology and Results Regarding Adolescents’ Ability to Speak About Their Beliefs’Journal of Empirical Theology 27 (2014) 36–56.

14

C. Scharen and A.M. Vigen eds.Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics (London: Continuum International Publishing Group2011) 65.

15

M. StringerOn the Perception of Worship. The Ethnography of Worship in Four Christian Congregations in Manchester (Birmingham: Birmingham University Press1999) 17.

17

 See also A. Lanser-van der VeldeGeloven Leren Een Theoretisch en Empirisch Onderzoek Naar Wederkerig Geloofsleren (Kampen: Kok2002).

18

J.P. Byrnes‘Cognitive Development During Adolescence’ in Blackwell Handbook of Adolescentsedited by G.R. Adems and M.D. Beronsky (Malden: Blackwell Publishing Ltd2003) 239.

19

Ibid. p. 229.

23

J.J. ArnettEmerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From the Late Teens Through the Twenties (New York: Oxford University Press2004).

24

T. Habermas and S. Bluck‘Getting a Life: The Emergence of the Life Story in Adolescence,’ Psychological Bulletin126.5 (2000) 748–769; T. Habermas and C. de Silveira ‘The Development of Global Coherence in Life Narratives Across Adolescence: Temporal Causal and Thematic Aspects’ Developmental Psychology 44.3 (2008) 707–721.

25

D.P. McAdams‘Personal Narratives and the Life Story’ in Handbook of Personality: Theory and Researchedited by O.P. John R.R. Robins and L.A. Pervin (New York: Guilford Press2008) 241–226.

27

D.P. McAdams and K. McLean‘Narrative Identity’Current Directions in Psychological Science22.3 (2013) 233–238.

28

J. Kroger‘Identity Formation: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Inquiry’ in Capturing Identity. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods (Lanham: University Press of America2007) 179–196.

30

M.Q. PattonQualitative Research & Evaluation Methods (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications2002) 347.

32

Marcia et al.‘Ego Identity’13.

33

J.E. Marcia‘Theory and Measure: The Identity Status Interview’ in Capturing Identity. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods (Lanham: University Press of America 2007) 1–14.

34

E.H. EriksonIdentity Youth and Crisis (London: Faber & Faber1968).

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