Young Children Ages 18 Months 8 Years Old Spirituality Temperament and Self-Control Literature Review

Excerpt from Literature Review :


The work of Roehlkeparta (2006) reports that the church congregation has an influence that is both direct and indirect upon the young person's development spiritually variously in their contact with the young person. Included int these contacts are religious education, service projects, youth groups and in contacts that also "extend to include the congregations engagement with families, intergenerational engagement and broader community involvement through the congregations public leadership, service, and action on behalf of children, adolescents and others in society." (Roehlkeparta, 2006, p.329) The congregation is also reported to play a role "in young people's spiritual nurture by building the capacity and sense of responsibility among everyone in the congregation to be attentive to nurturing the spiritual lives of children and adolescents..." ( Roehlkeparta, 2006, p. 329) This study contributes to the present study in the statement of the expectations that adults have for their role in the spirituality of children in their congregation and community.

Fowler (1981) relates two stages of spiritual development in children: (1) Stage 1 or Primal Faith; and (2) Stage 2 or intuitive faith. According to Fowler the important factors for the child's lives of faith happen "in utero and in the very first months" of the child's life." (p. 102 cited in: Grajczonek, nd, p. 12) Fowler states that this primal faith is such that forms prior to language through "the ritual of care and it is a pivotal time when trust is established and a 'rudimentary faith' enables infants to overcome separation anxiety. This is held by Fowler to be a stage that is critical to the development of the infant and to be such that forms the framework upon which faith is later constructed in the life of the child. Stage two is held by Fowler to be the emergence of acquisition of language and a time when the child's imagination is "stimulated by stores, gestures and symbols combined with perception and feelings, creates long-lasting faith images." (Grajczonek, nd, p. 13) This is additional held as a time when children "copy and reproduce behavior of closely related adults and their representations of god are formed by the children's experience of parents and significant adults." (Grajczonek, nd, p.13) Wile children desire to understand in a meaningful way using their intuition instead being unable to discern from fiction and fact children imitate and are influenced by their experiences with the family and the media. This information contributes to the present study through the information provided about how children imitate adults in their early development of spirituality.

Gottlieb (2006) relates a three-stage developmental model of spiritual development stating that in the first stage that children "pass through an intuitive stage in which they see religious identity as being bestowed by God or parents prayers are conceptualized as recipes for gratifying personal desires; and interpretations of Bible are unsystematic, fragmentary and often inconsistent." (Grajczonek, nd, p. 14) The second stage occurs around seven years of age…

Sources Used in Document:


Giesenberg, A. (2007) The Phenomenon of Preschool Children's Spirituality. Retrieved from:

Fowler, J. (1981). Stages of faith: The psychology of human development and the quest for meaning. Blackburn: Dove Communications.

Gottlieb, E. (2006). Development of religious thinking. Religious Education, 101(2), 242-260.

Roehlkepartain, EC (2006) The Handbook of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence. SAGE. Retrieved from: 6 LfkC&dq=Roehlkepartain,+ E.+C.+(2006).+The+handbook+of+spiritual+developm ent+in+childhood+and+adolescence.&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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