Spiritual Development: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 118

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Peter L. Benson, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Kathryn L. Hong
Wiley, Nov 10, 2008 - Education - 152 pages
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Drawing on the global research and field-building efforts of Search Institutes Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence, this volume frames a new, deeper dialogue about the intersections between youth development and spiritual development. Contributors explore ways to integrate spiritual development and youth development in order to strengthen theory, research, and practice. They ask:
  1. How do young people develop their deepest, fundamental commitments?
  2. How do they find their place in their family, community, world, and universe?
  3. How do they come to terms with issues of meaning, purpose, and identity beyond themselves?

These are, at their core, spiritual development questions. They are also critical issues in adolescent development. They are the wellspring of some of the best within young people and humanity, and the source of some of the greatest atrocities in society when the answers lead to alienation, hatred, or violence.

The past decade has seen an explosion in interest in spiritual development within youth development and related fields. National youth-serving systems are beginning to ask how they can effectively address these questions in a society that has become increasingly diverse and pluralistic. And the growth of positive, community-based youth development provides a platform for examining these issues within the context of an overall commitment to healthy, holistic development among all young people. This volume is a valuable addition to the field.

This is the 118th volume of New Directions for Youth Development, the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions. The result is a unique resource presenting thoughtful, multi-faceted approaches to helping our youth develop into responsible, stable, well-rounded citizens.

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About the author (2008)

Peter L. Benson is president of Search Institute, which provides leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities. He has written extensively in adolescent development, altruism, spiritual development, and thriving in adolescence. He serves as principal investigator for Search Institute s initiative on spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. In 1991, he received the William James Award for career contributions to the psychology of religion from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Benson is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, including Developmental Assets and Asset-Building Communities, All Kids Are Our Kids: What Communities Must Do to Raise Caring and Responsible Children and Adolescents, "and Religion on Capitol Hill: Myths and Realities." He is general editor for the Search Institute Series on Developmentally Attentive Community and Society, published by Springer. He holds a doctorate in experimental social psychology from the University of Denver.

Eugene C. Roehlkepartain is Director, Family and Congr egation Initiatives for Search Institute. He has been editor of Youth Ministry Resources for Group Books, and is also a columnist whose articles have appeared in The Christian Century and Christian Ministry.

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