Article written by 2009 DPDF Revitalizing Development Studies Fellow Nicolette D. Manglos, featured in Sociology of Religion, Volume 74, No. 2:
Religious beliefs often persist among unaffiliated young adults, and certain beliefs about God have been shown to support subjective well-being. Yet we know much less about the persistence or psychological impact of religious experiences, specifically miracles from God. I conceive of such experiences as faith pinnacle moments which express and reinvigorate the individual’s reciprocal bond with God, frequently occur in response to certain types of stress, and support well-being by solidifying one’s sense of that bond. My results show that net of institutional religiosity, young adults who experience stress from traumas are more likely to report miracles. This suggests that these reports often refer to healings or similar interventions. Stress from family breakups, however, is negatively correlated with miracles, presumably since these disruptions damage the bond with God due to the established connection between parental relationships and perceived relationship with God. Finally, miracles are positively correlated with life satisfaction and partially protect against the negative effects of stress on life satisfaction.