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Abstract

Research has shown that spirituality is an important function of a child’s social, emotional, and personal development. Nevertheless, minimal research exists on spiritual attitudes and values in young children. This study examined children’s development and spirituality using a modified version of the Attitudes and Values Questionnaire (AVQ). The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) developed the AVQ with the dimensions of Conscience, Compassion, Social Growth, Emotional Growth, Service to Others, Commitment to God, and Commitment to Jesus. Commitment to God and Commitment to Jesus were optional dimensions later added by ACER to focus specifically on Christian principles. Following permission from ACER to adapt the AVQ for younger children, the questionnaire was modified using the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Scale to allow for better question comprehension among the young participants, ages 5–14. Researchers contacted family members and various Christian schools in their home states across the eastern United States and asked if they would be willing to administer the modified AVQ to their students. The intention was to expand upon knowledge about young children’s attitudes and values related to Christian spirituality. Specifically, the researchers were trying to find if there may be relationships among children’s view of self, view of others, and spirituality. Correlations were run in order to determine if different dimensions, particularly the social growth dimensions and the Christian dimensions, were significantly related. A correlation chart compared all variables and the results indicated that there were strong correlations among the dimensions.

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