Mississippi State University
Parker, Julie C.
Downey, Laura H.
Date of Degree
Dissertation - Open Access
Human Development and Family Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
School of Human Sciences
This study sought insight into the religious and cultural identity of emerging adults belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints(LDS) and the impact such identity had in relation to volunteering motivation. Participants included 24 emerging adult college students belonging to the Church. Thematic analysis was used to determine influencing factors that led to Church membership and how Church membership shaped self-perception. Participants shared volunteer experiences and motivation to volunteer in relation to Deci and Ryan’s (2000) self-determination theory (SDT) was examined. The motivation of relatedness was identified among 100% of participants as compared to competence (37.5%) and autonomy (16.7%). Findings suggest participants regard being children of God and serving children of God as an important factor of religious identity that influenced volunteer work. This study provides a guiding framework for volunteer organizations and how they can target recruiting efforts toward emerging adult Church members.
Smith, Jennifer R., "A thematic analysis of religious identity and volunteer motivation among emerging adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 5979.