Adolescence as a Sensitive Period for Spiritual Development


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Marie Good, Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 5C9, Canada; e-mail:


ABSTRACT—This paper explores the possibility that adolescence may be a sensitive period for the development of spirituality. Evidence suggests that many of the normative developmental characteristics of adolescence may make teenagers more responsive to spiritual overtures. We review research on the characteristics of adolescent psychological development in conjunction with research on spirituality. On the basis of this research, we hypothesize that adolescents may be more likely than individuals in other age groups to engage in spiritual exploration, have a conversion experience, and make spiritual commitments that endure throughout the life span.