Thrive Center Fellow Christine Merola Presents Measurement of Diverse Adolescent Spirituality (MDAS) at 2016 APA Annual Convention

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Merola-Christine-croppedChristine Merola, MA, PsyD student researcher and 2016–2017 Thrive Scholars Fellow, presented Thrive Center research for APA Division 36, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, at the APA Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado, on August 7, 2016.

Merola gave the presentation on behalf of Pamela Ebstyne King, PhD, Seong-Hyeon Kim, PhD, and James L. Furrow, PhD.

Assessing Spirituality in a Diversified World:
Mainstream, Other, and Non-Religious Views

Session Chairs: Kevin A. Harris & Amy L. Ai
Discussants: Paul Wink, Christine E. Agaibi, & Doug Oman


Preliminary Exploration of the Measurement of Diverse Adolescent Spirituality (MDAS)

Recent focus on spirituality and adolescent development draws attention to the limited resources available to researchers seeking measures that are sensitive to diverse expressions of spirituality among youth. This study summarizes the initial stages of development of the Measurement of Diverse Adolescent Spirituality (MDAS) that is designed to assess adolescent spirituality across diverse religious traditions, examining three primary dimensions: transcendence, fidelity, and contribution. Three hundred and ninety-one (211 females, M age = 13.78 years old) Mexican youth completed a self-report survey including the MDAS and measures of prosocial tendencies, daily spiritual experiences, and intrinsic religious motivation. Exploratory and confirmatory factor models, reliability and structural analysis were examined to establish a valid and reliable multidimensional measure of adolescent spirituality within the tested sample. Implications for adolescent spiritual development and cross-cultural research are discussed.

Thrive Center Research Project: Measuring Adolescent Spiritual Development in Tijuana Youth