Special Issue "Ecological Perspectives on Religion and Positive Youth Development"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Mona M. Abo-Zena

University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 William T, Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125, United States
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Religion and spirituality as dimensions of diversity within children, families, and communities; Equity-based perspectives on development of diverse youth; Immigrant-origin children and families; Religious minorities
Guest Editor
Dr. Meenal Rana

Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst St, Arcata, CA 95521, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Ethnoreligious identity development in youth; ethnoreligious minorities; parental socialization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While the last two decades have marked a burgeoning focus on the role of religion and spirituality in the positive development of youth, there remain multiple underexplored processes, contexts and processes that shape development and outcomes for diverse youth and families. Using an ecological framework and life span perspective, this special issue on the role of religion and spirituality in positive youth development addresses the gaps in scholarship. Further, drawing from interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks and diverse research methods, it focuses on studying underrepresented populations, developmental outcomes of religiosity and spirituality, contexts of socialization, and perspectives within positive youth development as well as challenges to it. While the focus is on the role of religion and spirituality, the framing is from an intersectional perspective on religious identity development that attends to other social positions and identities in contexts that are differentially stratified such as ethnicity, socioeconomic background, nationality, and immigration.

This special issue will contribute to the existing literature in multiple ways: 1. While youth development generally focuses on adolescence and emerging adulthood, this special issue will consider a lifespan perspective in order to consider antecedents in early childhood and the effects of socializing agents throughout the lifespan, including caregivers and religious mentors, as well as the effects of contexts such as racism and xenophobia on youth development; 2. The field of the psychology of religion has been identified as having a disproportional focus on Protestant Christian samples, experiences, and theology; this issue seeks to represent underrepresented faith traditions and their related experiences; 3. This special issue will draw from interdisciplinary perspectives and the correspondingly diverse research methods and conceptual models to understand the complex developmental processes and interplay between religion and other social identities in context.

Dr. Mona M. Abo-Zena
Dr. Meenal Rana
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • religion
  • spirituality
  • positive youth development
  • intersectionality
  • mixed-methods
  • lifespan
  • context
  • ecological frameworks

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
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