A Culturally Sensitive Approach to the Relationships between Identity Formation and Religious Beliefs in Youth
Youth encounter issues of religion in the process of identity formation. However, most prior studies have focused on Christian youth in Western counties. This study examined the relationship between identity formation and religious beliefs in the Eastern national context where Buddhism and non-institutional folk religions are prevalent. Participants were 969 Japanese youth (51.3% female; M age = 20.1). Both literal and symbolic religious beliefs were included and both a variable- and person-oriented approach were used based on the three-factor identity model. The results from the variable-oriented approach (i.e., identity processes) demonstrated that identity commitment was positively associated with literal religious beliefs, whereas reconsideration of commitment was positively associated with both literal and symbolic religious beliefs. Findings from the person-oriented approach (i.e., identity statuses) confirmed these results. Overall, this study highlights the importance of religious beliefs in the process of identity formation among youth in an Eastern national context.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Sugimura, Kazumi; Matsushima, Kobo; Hihara, Shogo; Takahashi, Masami; and Crocetti, Elisabetta, "A Culturally Sensitive Approach to the Relationships between Identity Formation and Religious Beliefs in Youth" (2019). Psychology & Gerontology Faculty Publications. 35.