While research conducted in Western nations suggests that religiosity and spirituality protect against delinquent behavior, few studies have examined these relationships in developing world contexts. Using a community sample of 290 high-risk and gang-involved adolescents (11-17 years) and young adults (18-25 years) in San Salvador, El Salvador, structural equation modeling and logistic regression are used to examine the relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors, and delinquency. Results suggest that spirituality and, to a lesser extent, religious coping, protect Salvadoran youth at risk for involvement in delinquent behavior. The relationship between spirituality and delinquency was completely mediated by social developmental factors as no direct association was identified between spirituality and delinquency. Spirituality and religious coping are both relevant protective factors among Salvadoran youth; however, spirituality is more consistently protective against delinquency in terms of its relationship to social developmental mediating factors and its direct associations to particular delinquent behaviors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by Grant T32 DA016184 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine