Society for Research in Child Development Pre-Conferences on
Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

As developmental psychology has given spirituality and religion more attention as important domains and contexts of development, research on religious and spiritual development has flourished. Begun by Dr. Chris Boyatzis (Bucknell University) in 2003, This preconference convenes a growing community of scholars interested in theoretically understanding and empirically examining the nature and function of religion and spirituality in the lives of children and adolescents. Additionally, we explore ways to conceptualize and operationalize religion and spirituality as contexts in which human development occurs. This preconference helps scholars interested in the study of religious and spiritual development think about how religious and spiritual development can inform traditional assumptions and approaches to understanding developmental processes. Attendees have represented research from multiple interacting dimensions of development (socioemotional, cognitive, psychopathology) and varying dimensions of religious & spiritual development (concepts, cognitive processes, moral reasoning, identity, parenting, etc.). The program ensures diversity in the religious belief systems discussed, the cultural systems from which participants are recruited, and the methods taken in the study of religious and spiritual development.

In addition to keynote speakers, the preconference features a variety of formats, including round-table discussions, poster presentations, and research talks in order to foster discussion, build research networks, and connect younger and more established scholars to each other. SRCD attendees whose work addresses any of the above topics or who simply wish to learn more about this these issues are invited to attend.