In this project, we will analyze four waves of survey data and in-person interviews from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) and three inter-related questions: 1) How do youths’ relationships with God, relationships with parents, relationships with peers, church-based relationships, and relationships with romantic partners, correspond to or compensate for each other? 2) Which attachments, behaviors, and emotions are constitutive of flourishing in young adulthood? 3) Why are some people resilient to stress, exhibiting human flourishing despite undergoing stressful life events, while others are vulnerable to stress, exhibiting low levels of human flourishing following stressful life experiences? We will analyze an already existing 28-item Attachment to God Inventory and include a reduced (6-9 item) Attachment to God Inventory on NSYR Wave 4. The longitudinal data from NSYR allows us to examine how these relationships correspond to each other across time. In addition to the 250 in-person interviews planned by the NSYR team, we will select 50 additional respondents from NSYR Wave 4 for in-person interviews. These interviews will probe about various types of intimate relationships (God, parents, romantic partners), virtuous behaviors that are constitutive of human flourishing (generosity, compassion, civic participation), and responses to stress. Our research combines insights from philosophy of human science, psychology and sociology to bear on current pressing issues regarding young adults’ religious lives, relationship formation and the social conditions conducive to virtuous behaviors. We will disseminate our findings through scholarly publications, writing for print and on-line media, developing new undergraduate courses, hosting a summer seminar on virtue ethics and the human sciences for graduate students, and organizing panels at professional meetings. We seek 3 years of funding from the Templeton Foundation totaling $603,650.
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