Spiritual journeys in emerging adulthood : a narrative study
Childs, Heather Gayle
A narrative qualitative research approach was used to understand the role that spiritual journeys had on the lives of emerging adults. Participants were four emerging adults (2 female, 2 male) ranging in age from 20 to 29 years. All participants were of middle class social economic status and lived in a mid-size Canadian prairie city. Three of the participants were Caucasian and the fourth was of Spanish-Caucasian ancestry. Semi-structured interviews provided the opportunity for the participants to share their stories regarding the role that their spiritual journey played in their life. Data were analyzed for themes within and across the participants’ stories. A visual representation of their collective journeys was created along with four-part poetic representations of each participant’s individual story. The stories that the participant’s shared revealed that emerging adults’ spiritual journeys were cyclical in that the journeys began with feelings of discontent, which led them to seek spiritual resources and experiences to address the unhappiness in their lives. In acquiring new knowledge, the participants were faced with different theories, ideas and experiences that brought forth additional questions. These new areas of thought led these individuals to search for further answers and meaning, bring forth new questions, new meaning, and in turn, the process became a cycle. The cycle that began with their initial discontent continued because of a desire for further knowledge. Findings are discussed in terms of the current literature on spirituality in emerging adulthood and spirituality in relation to meaning making; implications are discussed for counselors, educators, and researchers and recommendations are made for future research.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
CommitteeNicol, Jennifer; Kreyszig, Sheila; Mykota, David
Copyright DateNovember 2009