‘It is never good. Really, it’s just never good’: A dominant theme in the life story accounts of strictly Reformed-raised emerging adults about their religious identity development

Anne-Marije de Bruin-Wassinkmaat, Jos de Kock, Elsbeth Visser-Vogel, Cok Bakker, M. Barnard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This article presents a striking finding of our research into the religious
    identity commitments and process of religious identity development
    of emerging adults who grew up in strictly Reformed contexts in the
    Netherlands. We observed a recurrent theme in the life story accounts
    we studied. Almost all the participants expressed that they feel or felt
    not good enough for God or believers within strictly Reformed contexts.
    In this article, we explore this theme and show how feelings of
    not being good enough are related to various aspects of participants’
    strictly Reformed upbringing, such as specific beliefs and specific ideal
    images. In addition, we show which experiences go along with feelings
    of not being good enough. Last, we discuss the findings, provide
    suggestions for future research and point to directions for further
    reflections by educators.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbervol 43, 2
    JournalJournal of Beliefs and Values
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


    • Not good enough; religious identity development; emerging adulthood; strictly Reformed; the Netherlands

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