In Search of the Spiritual: Adolescent Transitions as Portals to the Spirit Self

  • Peter J. Perkins
Part of the International Handbooks of Religion and Education book series (IHRE, volume 3)


Certain internal and external descriptions of youth during adolescence inspire inquiry into their development of the spiritual dimension. These descriptions are seen throughout developmental theories, while in clinical practice, there is growing interest in how the spiritual dimension may have promise, even urgency, in the key developmental years of adolescence. This chapter offers a selection of these developmental descriptions, my clinical observations, as well as first-hand accounts from youth themselves that support the call for education of the spiritual dimension during adolescent development. A holistic model of human development will be presented as a tool to set the context for adolescent education through mid- to late adolescence.


Early Adolescence Adolescent Development Gang Membership Spiritual Dimension Spiritual Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Berry, T. (1988). The dream of the earth. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books.Google Scholar
  2. Bopp, J., Bopp, M., Brown, L., & Lane, P. (1985). The sacred tree. Lethbridge, AB: Four Worlds Development Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brentro, Larry K., M. Brokenleg, S. Van Bockern, (1990) National Educational Service, Bloomington, Indiana.Google Scholar
  4. Bronowski, J. (1971). The identity of man. Garden City, NY. American Museum Science Books.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, J. (1988). The power of myth: With Bill Moyers. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  6. Capra, F. (1982). The turning point: Science, society, and the rising culture. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  7. Clegg, J. & Savuka. (1990). Album entitled “Cruel, crazy, beautiful world”.Google Scholar
  8. Cody, Diablo, (2007) Juna, Fox Searchlight Pictures.Google Scholar
  9. Eisler, R. (1987). The chalice and the blade. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  10. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: W.W. Norton Co.Google Scholar
  11. Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: W.W Norton Co.Google Scholar
  12. Freud, S. (1961). The future of an illusion. New York: W.W. Norton Co.Google Scholar
  13. Freud, S. (1949). An outline of psychoanalysis. New York: W.W. Norton Co.Google Scholar
  14. Fromm, E. (1956). The art of loving. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  15. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Guidano, V. (1987). Complexity of self. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Helminiak, D. A. (1989). Self-esteem, sexual self-acceptance, and spirituality. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 15(3), 200–210.Google Scholar
  18. James, W. (1952). The principles of psychology. Chicago: William Brenton Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Jung, C. (1933). Modern man in search of a soul. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.Google Scholar
  20. Kegan, R. (1982). The evolving self. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive developmental approach to socialization. In D. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research. New York: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  22. Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  23. Loevenger, J. (1976). Ego development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  24. Maier, H. W. (1978). Three theories of child development. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  25. Marx, K. (1844). Religion, the opium of the people. In J. Pelikan (Ed.), The world treasury of modern religious thought. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.Google Scholar
  26. Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and human personality. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  27. May, G. G. (1982). Will and spirit. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  28. Perkins, P. (1990). EDAP: Facilitator’s guide. Montpelier, VT: Washington County Youth Service Bureau.Google Scholar
  29. Perkins, P. (1991). Human development assessment. Santa Barbara, CA: Dissertation. Fielding Institute.Google Scholar
  30. Perkins, P. (1997). Adolescence. ah what a wild time! Revised version. Vermont.Google Scholar
  31. Perkins, P. (2003). Five dimensions of the self. Revised version. Vermont.Google Scholar
  32. Piaget, J. (1958). The growth of logical thinking from childhood to adolescence. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  33. Prigogine, I. (1973). Irreversibility as a symmetry-breaking process. Nature, 246, 67–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schuster, C. S., & Ashburn, S. S. (1980). The process of human development: A holistic approach. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.Google Scholar
  35. Stevens-Mclaughlin, C. (2002). Public faces private places: Photographs and interviews. Vermont: National Institute for Community Innovations.Google Scholar
  36. Spirituality of Prevention. (1994). Conference participant thoughts and inspirations. Prevention Unlimited. VermontGoogle Scholar
  37. Tylor, E. B. (1973). Primitive culture: Researches into the development of mythology, philosophy, religion, language, art, and custom (2nd ed.). London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  38. Vella, J. (2002). Learning to listen learning to teach: The power of dialogue in educating adults. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  39. Wilson, M. (2004). New England network for children, youth and families. Burlington, Vermont.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Learning PartnersCalaisUSA

Personalised recommendations