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Nicole Z. Robertson, Hannah Barnhill Bayne, Ph.D.

The Lived Spiritual Experiences of African American Young Adults in their Respective Faith Traditions

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There is a lack of research regarding the role of spiritual experiences in the lives of African American young adults.  This phenomenological pilot study explored how African American young adults (18 to 30 years old) conceptualize the role of spiritual experiences in their lives.  Additionally, this study sought to examine how African American young adults understand and define their spiritual experiences within the church.  To understand these experiences, a semi-structured interview protocol was utilized in three face to face interviews with African American young adults who identified as being involved with a religious institution and attended worship experiences regularly (at least 2-3 times a month).  The semi-structured protocol examined how young adults in the African American community understand and conceptualize spirituality.  The questions also allowed young adults to articulate and express their views on this subject matter.  Finally, the questions explored ways in which the church was, or was not, addressing the needs of this young adult population.  The poster will discuss the study procedures, themes, patterns, issues, and concerns that emerged from the interviews with the participants. Limitations of the present study and implications for further research will be explored.  

Keywords: spirituality, African American, young adults, phenomenological


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