Psychology Night Research Posters and Presentations

Faculty Sponsor, if applicable

Molly Brown, Ph.D.

Project Abstract

Catholic disaffiliation rates are rising, with youth at the most risk. A 10-year longitudinal study found only one in every two Catholic teenagers resurveyed still identify as Catholic (Manhlos-Weber & Smith, 2018). Previous research highlights the importance of familial and non-familial adult figures in Catholic youths’ lives. These connections made to religious adult mentors seems to play a substantial role in retention as religious mentors increased one's sense of a connection to God (Lanker & Issler, 2010). With this in mind, looking further into how adults form connections between Catholic youth and their Catholic community could be of importance to retention efforts. This study looked into the religious journey of 24 Catholic raised youths, 12 currently Catholic and 12 former-Catholics. Themes around how youth can be connected to the Catholic faith were coded, further identifying how connections were created by adults and how other connections were prevented or created negatively.

Type of Research

Undergraduate Student - Independent Study


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Presentation Year

May 2019