English title: Values and religion in adolescent development: Cross-national and comparative evidence

Author(s): Shalom H. Schwartz -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2012

Abstract

Adolescence is a critical period in the development of our basic values. Our system of value priorities crystallizes during the period. By basic values, I refer to our beliefs about how important or desirable such abstract goals as wisdom, security, equality, wealth, freedom, obedience, and pleasure are to us as guiding principles in life (Schwartz, 1992; cf. Rokeach, 1973). Values are important because they motivate our behavior (what we do), justify our past behavior (why we did it), direct our attention (what we notice), and serve as standards for evaluating people and events (who and what we like or dislike) (Schwartz, 2006). As standards, basic values underlie our attitudes. Many believe that religion plays an important role in the development of values (e.g., Baker, 2005, Weber, 1904/1958). This chapter focuses on relations between basic values and religion in adolescence. The chapter briefly reviews the nature of basic values and their near universal structure. Using data from representative national samples from 30 countries, it addresses five questions concerned with adolescents’ values and religion that have concerned researchers: (1) A near-universal structure of relations among different values that reflects the motivations they express characterizes adults around the world. Has this motivational structure of relations among values emerged yet by mid- or by late adolescence? (2) Do adolescents who are members of the different major Western religious groups (Roman Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, Muslims, Jews, and no religion) differ in the motivational structure of their values? (3) What patterns of development can we discern in value priorities as youth move from mid- to late adolescence and then to adulthood? (4) Do more and less religious adolescents have different value priorities, and does the association between religiosity and values depend upon the religion to which they adhere? (5) How, if at all, do adolescents’ basic values and/or their religiosity influence three significant attitudes: the centrality of family in their lives, the importance of helping needy people, and the importance of always obeying the law? Finally, the chapter discusses processes of value acquisition that affect parent-adolescent value similarity and parenting variables that influence these processes.

From page no: 97

To page no: 122

Anthology: Values, religion, and culture in adolescent development