Pepperdine Graziadio Faculty Jillian Alderman and Cristel Russell Publish Research in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
What is the connection between religiosity and self-esteem? How does it evolve during adolescence? Pepperdine Graziadio Business School faculty Dr. Cristel Russell and Dr. Jillian Alderman recently published “Religiosity and US adolescents' well‐being: The moderating role of trait reactance" in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. The research examines the role of religiosity in adolescents’ well being. Dr. Russell and Dr. Alderman also show that teenagers' trait reactance, a personality predisposition to protect against external influences, changes this relationship in surprising ways: Amongst older adolescents, higher reactance and higher religiosity/spirituality relate to the highest levels of self-esteem, but this is not the case amongst younger adolescents. Based on the findings, they propose that trait reactance, which can be viewed as a hindrance because high reactant teens are difficult to deal with, is actually a helpful personality trait. In this study, high reactance older teens were the ones with the strongest relationship between religiosity and self-esteem. Their reactance helped them solidify their religious beliefs and made them feel better about themselves.
The full publication is available in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.