Date of Award


Document Type



Psychology, Criminal Justice and Sociology


Some families speak frequently and openly about their spirituality, while other families find it difficult to spiritually disclose to each other, even if they highly value faith. This qualitative study explores the factors that both help and hinder Christian families with adolescents in the act of spiritual disclosure. Interviews were conducted with 11 pairs of siblings from Messiah College and online surveys were sent to the parents of the siblings. Four distinct themes emerged from both the interviews and the surveys: authoritative parenting as helpful to spiritual disclosure; a difference in core beliefs as a cause of tension; the importance of bi-directional reciprocity in disclosure; and how the stage of adolescence, with its focus on identity formation and individuation, may provide a unique set of challenges regarding spiritual disclosure.