• March 02, 2017 9:41 AM | Carolyn Barry

    SSEA Pre-conference Workshop, Thursday, November 2, 2017, Washington DC, Pre-conference Session 4

    Theme: Emerging Adults’ Meaning-Making
    Hosted by: Religion and Spirituality Topic Network (R&S TN)
    Scheduled Time: 12:00 – 17:00

    Session Description:
    This pre-conference workshop will focus on connecting emerging and established scholars and practitioners who are interested in meaning-making processes during emerging adulthood, broadly construed. Taking an innovative approach to traditional conference formats, we propose to organize this workshop around the interests of our network. Our primary goal is to facilitate deliverable outcomes from participating in the workshop, in the form of direct contributions to publications, grants, literature reviews, practice, and ideas in formation for subsequent SSEA workshops. The theme for this workshop is meaning-making during emerging adulthood; the specific topics are open and to be built around the interests of our network. We welcome submission types in five forms: workshops on manuscripts in progress, grant working groups, critical dialogs, practice seminars, and planning sessions for SSEA 2019. These submission types are described further below. We welcome scholars, practitioners, and religious leaders interested in religion, spirituality, and meaning-making during emerging adulthood.

    Submission Types**
    a. Manuscript Workshops – submissions received for manuscript drafts in progress, arranged by topic for informal discussion, akin to roundtables but with emphasis placed on discussions
    b. Grant Working Groups – submissions received for calls for grant proposals, arranged by topic for informal discussion of ideas in progress and in formation for collaborative grants
    c. Critical Dialogs – submissions received for critical dialogs focused on a single or pair of journal articles or book chapters, panelists prepare comments on the reading(s)
    d. Practice Seminars – submissions received for best practices for work with emerging adults, arranged by topic for discussions on implementing research-based practice
    e. Planning SSEA 2019 – submissions received for ideas on keynote speakers, panels, workshop, and other session ideas for the next SSEA in 2019

    We will receive submissions for the pre-conference workshop through an early submission due date and a final submission due date. The first due date is to provide submitters with early consideration and acceptance notification, and the final due date is to allow longer duration for submitters to develop innovative, creative, and/or collaborative submission ideas.
    • Early Submission Due Date: July 1, 2017
    • Final Submission Due Date: September 1, 2017
    • Link to Submit Pre-conference Workshop Ideas:  


    Potential Speakers: TBA (workshop speakers will be based on network submissions)

    Workshop Organizers:
    • Patricia Snell Herzog, PhD - University of Arkansas, herzog@uark.edu
    • Ofra Mayseless, PhD - University of Haifa, ofram@edu.haifa.ac.il

  • January 13, 2017 9:54 AM | Carolyn Barry

    Dear SSEA Religion and Spirituality Topic Network Members,


    We wanted to remind you all to upload your own work and other seminal pieces to our shared google drive, as well as to solicit posts for our blog. For more information on these opportunities, see our website: http://ssea.org/membership/religion.htm


    It is time to start planning for the 8th Conference on Emerging Adulthood http://ssea.org/conference/2017/index.html, which will be held November 2-4, 2017 in Washington DC. Our topic network will be hosting a preconference on November 2nd at the Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill from 12-5pm. Ofra Mayseless (University of Haifa) and Patricia Snell Herzog (University of Arkansas) will be chairing this preconference, and more information will be forthcoming. They are in the beginning stages of planning this preconference and welcome your suggestions as to topics and potential speakers. Please email Ofra directly with your suggestions: ofram@edu.haifa.ac.il


    In preparation for the main conference, we as co-chairs are reaching out to encourage you to submit to the conference, and to help organize either discussions or paper symposia (see call for submissions: http://ssea.org/conference/2017/SSEA2017CallforProposals1.pdf) related to religion and spirituality. It is our hope that we can connect scholars across the topic network who wouldn’t otherwise find each other. This should also help ensure that our topic network, and the very important work that our group is doing, is well represented at the conference. The deadline for submissions is 1 March 2017, but to get organized with a symposium or a discussion – takes time.


    v  We suggest that you take advantage of this email and "reply to all" if you are interested in a discussion or joining a paper symposium on religion or spirituality. Let the members of the group know about your intentions or desires for presentation.


    v  For discussions, a brief paragraph on the focus of the discussion would be helpful.


    v  For paper symposium, a short (no more than a paragraph) description of what your talk would be, including key characteristics of your sample (e.g., age, ethnicity) and whether or not your analyses are finalized. If you have multiple potential presentations and are looking for one or two more labs to join you, you can describe each presentation separately.


    We look forward to hearing from you!


    Best wishes,


    Carolyn Barry, Ofra Mayseless, & Meredith Hope

    Religion and Spirituality Topic Network Chairs


  • August 22, 2016 12:05 PM | Carolyn Barry
    The Journal of Research on Adolescence is having a special issue is of relevance to us. The topic is on spiritual and religious influence on adolescent development. They are open to receiving papers on adolescents through early emerging adults. However, almost all of the sample should be under twenty, and not be a college student sample. For more information, see this website: http://www.s-r-a.org/CallforSpecialIssuePapers
  • June 13, 2016 5:29 PM | Ofra Mayseless

    I recently stumbled upon a paper that was very thought-provoking and challenged my views and I thought that it would be great to share this with you. The paper’s title already intrigued me – “The religion paradox: If religion makes people happy, why are so many dropping out?” and it was published in 2011 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Diener, Tay & Myers.

    The study addressed the longstanding question of the association between religiosity and well-being. What is unique and fascinating about the study is that it used  data from representative samples from all the states in the USA and from 154 nations worldwide covering more than 95% of the earth’s population.  I especially liked their thorough and rigorous approach to theory and data analysis. The researchers used several indicators of religiosity and well-being and also looked at factors that moderate this association (e.g., in which nations religiosity shows stronger association with life satisfaction – can you guess?) and factors that mediate it such as social support, feeling respected and meaning in life. Which one do you think is the strongest mediator?

    Their findings were surprising and got me thinking. For example, it appears that despite having 74% of respondents saying that religion is important in their lives there is high variability among states and countries. In societies with more difficult life conditions such as hunger and low life expectancy religiosity is more common and is associated as expected with higher wellbeing and this is mediated through greater social support, respect, meaning and purpose. But in societies with better circumstances religiosity is less prevalent and does not appear to contribute to wellbeing.  However, though religiosity in these societies was not associated with greater life satisfaction, positive feelings or negative feelings it was associated with higher meaning and purpose.  In fact even within the more religious societies meaning and purpose was the most strongly mediator associated with religiosity, much more than social support. These findings held true for each of the 4 largest religions. Interesting! right?  

    Ofra Mayseless

  • May 23, 2016 3:35 PM | Carolyn Barry

    Thanks so much for signing up to be part of this topic network. We have taken great feedback from many of you who attended the October SSEA Conference to make this network as useful to you as possible.


    To this end, we offer (a) this blog space (within the SSEA website), and (b) a google drive where relevant documents (e.g., published papers, list of members) can be uploaded and shared (see below).


    Blog space. All members can make posts and respond to each other's posts. We envision this space to be used for a variety of formats:
    a) professional announcements (upcoming conferences, grant proposals, special issues)
    b) a call to organize and/or invite fellow religion and spirituality researchers to organize symposia for upcoming conferences, grant proposals, special issues for journals, etc.
    c) a call for any teaching materials, assignments, syllabi concerning emerging adults' religiousness and spirituality
    d) blog entries that all topic network members contribute.  Such entries should be roughly 150-300 words and could range from 
         --providing an abstract of a research project in which you're currently working to share your work
         --summarizing a scholarly article on the topic that was useful to you, providing a commentary on the state of the field of emerging adults' religion and spirituality
         --providing a link to a current event or popular news story (e.g., New York Times) that connects to our topic
         --sharing a useful classroom activity or assignment on this topic


    You can post the blog directly after registering  for SSEA and this topic network by contacting coordinator@ssea.org

          **** HOWEVER - We also invite you to submit a blog asap to us (
    m.hope1@gmail.com), as we'd like to be able to have new posts every two weeks, if possible.

    We ask that all blog entries be respectful and inclusive to all members. Posts are not a forum to proselytize about worldviews, but rather to share our science, how our science in this area connects to our teaching and the world around us. Where appropriate, please include your name, affiliation, and email.

    Google drive. In addition to this blog space we have created a google drive for all members. This drive is designed to be a filing system for useful measures and publications to our topic on emerging adults' religiousness and spirituality, as well as membership.

    We encourage you to upload your publications and others that you have found useful to this site.

    In addition, in the membership list in the Drive please provide key research terms within the membership excel spreadsheet to facilitate professional networking among members. Explanations how to access the google drive will be sent in a separate email.

    Finally, we ask that you send this link to the blog post to other colleagues who do research in this area and encourage them to join the topic network. If others are not already part of this network but would like to be, please have them contact coordinator@ssea.org. All topic network members must also be members of SSEA.


    Carolyn Barry, Ofra Mayseless, and Meredith Hope

    Religion and Spirituality Topic  Network Chairs

  • March 15, 2016 1:53 PM | Lisa Gaudette (Administrator)

    Welcome to the Religion and Spirituality Topic Network Blog. Please contact the network Co-Chair, Ofra Mayseless (ofram@edu.haifa.ac.il) with any questions.

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