Religion and Spirituality in University Students: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Aleixandre Brian Duche-Pérez, Cintya Yadira Vera-Revilla, Olger Albino Gutiérrez-Aguilar, Sandra Chicana-Huanca, Bertha Chicana-Huanca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Universities are spaces of great cultural and religious diversity where university students are in a crucial phase of personal development and identity formation. Understanding the religiosity and spirituality of students helps foster an environment of inclusion and tolerance, and how they can be key factors in their comprehensive development. In view of its great potential, this document presents the findings of a systematic literature review following the updated guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews (PRISMA). This research focuses on reviewing the topics of religiosity and spirituality in university students, with the goal of identifying how they are lived and experienced during a crucial stage of personal development and identity search. The analysis includes a total of fifty-six documents in the period from 2000 to 2022 obtained from the EBSCO, Scopus, and Web of Science databases. The findings indicate that religiosity and spirituality significantly impact the lifestyle of university students. The scientific literature highlights the relationship between these dimensions and the reduction of problems such as depression and suicide. However, the conceptual difference between spirituality and religiosity is underlined, with different effects on well-being and the ability to face difficult situations. Finally, it is recommended to explore how religiosity and spirituality intersect with identity components such as gender, race, and sexual orientation, and to develop more precise measurement instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-162
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2024


  • Religiosity
  • Spirituality
  • Systematic Review
  • University Students


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