Previous research shows that as college students progress through their four year college experience, they undergo dramatic changes in their religiousness and spirituality levels, their religiousness decreases while their spirituality increases. This study sought to examine that claim by measuring the religiousness and spirituality levels of 75 freshmen and 75 graduating seniors at Connecticut College. It was hypothesized that freshmen would have higher levels of religiousness and lower levels of spirituality than would seniors. These differences were examined through self-report scales and content coding a collected memory of a particular peak moment with religious or spiritual significance. In addition to examining the religiousness and spirituality of Connecticut College students, the researcher also examined the authoritarian attitudes of participants as a measure of their conservatism and political growth throughout their college experience. There were no significant differences found between freshmen and seniors in their relative degrees of religiousness and spirituality. Additionally, there were also no significant differences found between freshmen and seniors regarding their religious identity status or authoritarian attitudes. Women scored significantly higher than did men, regardless of class, on the Prayer Fulfillment and Universality sub-scales of the Spiritual Transcendence Scale. There was also one class year by gender interaction with regard to religious identity; senior men were more foreclosed than were freshmen men. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Pace, Deryl V., "Big Man on Campus: An Examination of Religious Life & Spirituality in College Students" (2006). Psychology Honors Papers. 4.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.