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J Adolesc. 2006 Feb;29(1):119-35.

Personality, identity styles, and religiosity: an integrative study among late and middle adolescents.

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Department of Psychology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, Leuven 3000, Belgium.


Past research has shown that the way people deal with religion is related to prejudice. Therefore, it is important to study the determinants of individual differences in adolescent religious attitudes. In the present study, it is proposed that both differences in personality and identity formation might determine these religious attitudes. Recently, Duriez, Soenens, and Beyers (2004, Journal of Personality, 72, 877-910) tested an integrative model of the Five Factor Model of personality, Berzonsky's (1990, Advances in Personal Construct Psychology, 1, 155-186) identity styles and the religiosity dimensions of Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence and Literal vs. Symbolic. In this model, it is assumed that the relationships between adolescent personality and adolescent religious attitudes are mediated by the identity styles. The aim was to replicate this model among late adolescents (Sample 1; N=332) and to test whether it extends to middle adolescence (Sample 2; N=323). Whereas most personality factors were weakly and inconsistently related to the religiosity dimensions, Openness to Experience was consistently positively related to Literal vs. Symbolic and negatively to Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence. Whereas the former relation was mediated by the informational identity style, the latter relation was mediated by the normative identity style in Sample 1 only.

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