On faith and meaning-making: a psycho-theological perspective
Keywords:emerging adulthood, meaning-making, religiosity, spirituality, religious coping, well-being, Orthodox Christians
Faith and meaning-making are essential for improving well-being and building healthy personalities. Through inductive thematic analysis, we aimed to capture the particular nuances of meaning-making in a sample of Orthodox Christian religious emerging adults from Romania. The present research takes into consideration cultural and social aspects, that were explored through in-depth interviews. By following a thematic analysis protocol, we immersed ourselves in the religious and spiritual reality of these emerging adults. Following the protocol for our inductive analysis, we reviewed the research literature on these topics. Thus, we begin with the presentation of the existing literature on the main concepts and the implications of our focus on emerging adulthood. We continue with the qualitative research and the presentation of the main theme and subthemes that have emerged. Lastly, connections were made between positive and negative religious coping and the implications for psychological well-being during emerging adulthood and the impact later in life. The practical implications are discussed both for psychological aid specialists (e.g., psychological counselors, psychotherapists) and theological aid professionals (e.g., confessor priest or spiritual director). We argue that this research could further develop the dialogue and collaboration between psychological and theological specialists.