Understanding personal change in a women's faith-based transitional center

Academic Article


  • An impressive research literature has emerged that identifies linkages between religion and a wide range of attitudes, behaviors, and life events. We contribute to this literature by exploring how women undergoing difficult life circumstances-such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, unemployment, and homelessness-use faith to cope with and change these circumstances. To address this issue we analyze semi-structured interviews with 40 residents of a faith-based transitional center for women in the Southern United States. The residents outline a narrative of change in which they distinguish between the -old self{norm of matrix} and -new self.{norm of matrix} The narratives also specify the role of religiosity in facilitating change, the creation of a faith-based identity, and the strategies used for maintaining change. We conclude with implications for faith-based treatment programs, local pastors and religious congregants involved in social outreach ministry, sociology of religion scholars, and policy makers. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Published In

  • Religions  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kerley KR; Copes H; Linn AJ; Eason L; Nguyen MH; Stone AM
  • Start Page

  • 184
  • End Page

  • 197
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 2