Filling the Void: Spiritual Development Among Adolescents of the Affluent

Samuel H. Barkin, Lisa Miller, Suniya Luthar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Building on both the spiritual development and affluent youth literature, the current study explores spiritual development and health outcomes in a sample of upper-middle-class youth. Exploratory analyses indicate long-term stability in religiosity and spirituality from late adolescence (mean age 18) well into emerging adulthood (mean age 24); specifically, a strong personal relationship with a Higher Power, that carries into the broader arena of life, appears to be the primary source of spiritual life in adolescence that transitions into young adulthood. Moreover, cross-sectional associations at age 24 suggest spiritual development may have important implications for increased mental health and life satisfaction, as well as decreased antisocial behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-861
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Adolescents
  • Affluent youth
  • Development
  • Emerging adults
  • Religiosity
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • General Medicine
  • General Nursing


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