Thriving among African-American Adolescents: Religiosity, Religious Support, and Communalism

Adia S. Gooden*, Susan D. McMahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


While research has identified some positive factors in the lives of African-American adolescents, there is limited, yet growing, empirical research examining how positive factors foster thriving for these youth. Using a positive youth development framework, we examined naturally occurring factors that promote thriving among African-American adolescents. This cross-sectional study included 152 youth who were surveyed at five Black churches in a large Midwestern city. Using MPlus, the structural regression model results revealed support for a model that demonstrated religiosity, religious support, and communalism are significantly and directly related to thriving among African-American adolescents. Implications for theory, research and practice are discussed. Moving from a deficit lens to a strengths-based approach can facilitate understanding of developmental processes and provide a foundation for supporting and enhancing positive outcomes among African-American adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-128
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • African Americans
  • Positive youth development
  • Thriving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Thriving among African-American Adolescents: Religiosity, Religious Support, and Communalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this