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Many studies have noted significant relationships between religious sentiment and psychological adjustment, but few have been able to comment on the direction of influence. We assessed the relationships between religious values, self‐esteem, and trait hope when participants were in grades 11 and 12. The variables showed moderate levels of rank‐order stability. Structural equation modeling revealed that religious values in grade 11 did not predict improvements in self‐esteem in grade 12, but they did predict improvements in hope. In contrast, hope did not lead to increase in religious values. These results held after controlling for personality (Big Five factors and Eysenck's psychoticism factor). Results are discussed with reference to the beneficial effects of religious values in adolescence.

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