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Religion and Positive Youth Development: Challenges for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

1
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA 01610, USA
2
Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Boston, MA 02467, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2019, 10(10), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100540
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 19 August 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Perspectives on Religion and Positive Youth Development)
While previous research confirms the role religion can play in positive youth development, much existing research leaves out consideration of underrepresented populations. One important underrepresented population is children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which now impacts one in 59 children in the United States. Using qualitative data collected from in depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews of 53 parents/caregivers, in this article, we analyze barriers and opportunities in religious education for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder. We analyze factors impacting whether parents perceive their children to have a supportive and appropriate religious education experience or an unsupportive and alienating experience. We also provide recommendations for congregations and argue for inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorder in future research on religion and positive youth development. View Full-Text
Keywords: youth development; autism spectrum disorder; family; congregations; religious socialization youth development; autism spectrum disorder; family; congregations; religious socialization
MDPI and ACS Style

Crawford Sullivan, S.; Aramini, V. Religion and Positive Youth Development: Challenges for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Religions 2019, 10, 540.

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