Everybody needs to believe in something: Spiritual beliefs of non-religious Czech adolescents.

There is only a limited amount of research in the area of the spiritual beliefs of adolescents. The aim of our study was to explore the spiritual beliefs of adolescents from nonreligious families. We focused not only on the content of these beliefs but also on their sources and their individual importance in adolescents’ lives. To explore this issue, we conducted a qualitative research study based on semistructured interviews with 17 adolescents in the 12—16 age group. Thematic analysis revealed that most of the adolescents believed in some sort of supernatural phenomenon. Adolescents perceived faith as something essential in one’s life. Beliefs in supernatural beings, such as angels, spirits, or a higher power were present in most of the participants. The largest numbers of spiritual beliefs were mentioned in relation to an afterlife. The adolescents’ beliefs included elements from Christian, Eastern, and New Age religious systems. Some of the adolescents believed that our life is predestined but they also thought they were able to change or influence their destiny. The results suggest that spiritual beliefs may reflect adolescents’ fears, resilience, or locus of control. From a subjective point of view, adolescents named smart technologies more often than family or friends as a source of their beliefs. The study shows how adolescents from nonreligious families can have rich internal spiritual lives even in the absence of any strong cultural support for religiosity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)