Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Peggy L. Tarpley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen Keith, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

George C. Stonikinis, Jr., M.S.W.


This research was intended to look at the relationship between attendance at religious programs on the peer relationships and spirituality of adults with mental retardation. The literature reviews the benefits of spirituality for all individuals, the characteristics of individuals with mental retardation, and the influences of peer relationships. Fifty-nine surveys about the individual's spiritual development, happiness, peer relationships and criminality as well as the importance of religious functions were completed by adults with and without mental retardation. The results indicate that attendance at religious activities does in fact impact spirituality and peer relationships of individuals with mental retardation. They also provide for a discussion of the benefits of positive peer relationships.



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