Next Article in Journal
Souls in the Dark: Theodicy and Domesticity in Home
Next Article in Special Issue
Religion and Depression in South Korea: A Comparison between Buddhism, Protestantism, and Roman Catholicism
Previous Article in Journal
Taxonomy Construction and the Normative Turn in Religious Studies
Previous Article in Special Issue
Does Religious Involvement Mitigate the Effects of Major Discrimination on the Mental Health of African Americans? Findings from the Nashville Stress and Health Study
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Religions 2017, 8(12), 274;

Religious Attachment and the Sense of Life Purpose among Emerging Adults

Department of Sociology, Rice University, MS–28, Sewall Hall, 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Department of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Mental Health Outcomes)
Full-Text   |   PDF [224 KB, uploaded 19 December 2017]


The salubrious association between religious involvement and well-being is evident among the general population of religious individuals. In particular, the sense of attachment to a deity is linked to promoting healthy behavior and positive well-being. The link between religious attachment and well-being is particularly salient for emerging adults during a life stage where they are developing their own sense of self while also renegotiating religious commitments. The current study uses OLS regression and a lagged dependent variable model to analyze how perceived closeness to God is linked to the sense of life purpose among a diverse, national sample of emerging adults. We find that relative to those perceiving closeness to God, those who reported feeling neutral or did not believe in God experienced lower levels of life purpose. Respondents who reported feeling distant from God had the lowest scores on the Life Purpose Index. The findings are examined within the framework of religion and attachment theory literature. The study encourages researchers to consider attachment to a deity as an important link in explaining well-being outcomes, especially among religious individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: emerging adults; religious change; attachment; purpose emerging adults; religious change; attachment; purpose
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Culver, J.; Lundquist Denton, M. Religious Attachment and the Sense of Life Purpose among Emerging Adults. Religions 2017, 8, 274.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top