Date of Award

Winter 12-4-2020

Document Type

Capstone Paper

Department

Counselor Education

First Advisor

Anquinetta V. Calhoun

Abstract

Spirituality has been identified in empirical literature as a developmental asset for adolescence and a protective factor for areas including mental health, life satisfaction, purpose and behavior. These benefits emphasize the importance of spirituality exploration and development in this stage of life. School counselors, given their professional duties to support academics and social-emotional development, are in a prime position to achieve positive impact. Hesitations and limitations do exist for this practice, however. Lack of consensus and understanding surrounding the difference between religion and spirituality, as well as laws and policies complicating the incorporation of these areas in school have caused hesitation and confusion among counselors. This uncertainty of the counselor’s role and appropriate boundaries, as well as insufficient knowledge regarding the need for spiritual support, has caused a gap in support for the adolescent population. This literature review is an analysis of the impact that spirituality has on development, counselor obligations, challenges for implementation, as well as ethical applications for utilization in the school counseling profession.

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