This paper examines the role social relationships play in identifying a young adults’ religious affiliation.Through an examination of different societal factors, I argue that young adults are extremely impacted by the environment around them. I also examine how these environments sometimes cause confusion of identity and at other times can, in fact, ensure one’s religious identity. I support my argument through an examination of young adults and their upbringings by configuring information from various book sources and interviews. I engage secondary source material, predominantly from Christian Smith but other authors as well, such as: Susan B. Ridgely, Sharon Parks, Sarah Pike, and Carol E. Lytch. This project is intended to shed new light upon young adults and their engagement within religious environments. This research has been conducted in high hopes of creating a better awareness to the world that young adults exist and that they are in fact looking for the perfect religious fit. I aim to show my readers that young people need guidance and a strong support system to help them identify who they are and who they are not religiously. With the help of my extended research, I am able to successfully present examples of young adults who have found their fit in religious society due to the appropriate social factors surrounding them. For those who were not impacted in a beneficial way, the authors I have presented above list solutions for a young person to successfully find their ultimate religious identity.


Kammer, Charles


Religious Studies



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Cathy Z. Gwaltney