Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 347–360 | Cite as

Religious Activity and Pastoral Counseling Among Protestant Youth with SED


The past decade has shown a surge of interest in faith-based resources for a variety of social problems. However, these resources have not been systematically studied for children with emotional and behavioral problems. We investigated religious activity and use of pastoral counseling among Protestant youth with serious emotional disorders (SED) (N=464) and examined associated youth and caregiver characteristics. Findings indicate that the majority of SED youth do participate in religious activities, but do not frequently receive pastoral counseling for their problems. Youth with fewer externalizing problems as well as minority youth had an increased likelihood of participation in religious activities, while youth with more psychosocial impairment had an increased likelihood of using pastoral counseling. Implications of this study for research and practice are discussed.


children adolescents mental health religion serious emotional disturbance pastoral counseling 



This research was supported by NIMH training grant # t32mh19544.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology and Human DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Associate Professor, Department of Human and Organizational DevelopmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.NashvilleUSA

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