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The relationship between religious education and religious commitments and explorations of adolescents: on religious identity development in Dutch Christian secondary schools

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The question how (denominational) schools for secondary education influence the religious identity development of adolescents is central in this article. Quantitative empirical research focusing on the religious commitments and explorations (as indicators of religious identity development) of adolescents and on the relationship between these indicators and several contextual variables was carried out. The results show that many factors have an effect on pupils' religious identity and that this effect is different with regard to exploration and commitment. All in all there seems to be only a small relationship between the way the field of religious education is shaped in secondary education and the (actual) religious explorations and commitments of pupils. There is a much more direct relationship between pupils' religious explorations and commitments and their religious background, world view orientations and value orientations. However, pupils' perceptions of religious education at school also play a role.
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Keywords: adolescence; religious identity development; secondary education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Theory and Research in Education, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: Institute of Applied Research and Advanced Studies (ASAR), Hogeschool INHolland, Den Haag, The Netherlands 3: Department of Theory and Research in Education, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands,Faculty of Theology, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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