Title

Lost MK: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Choice of Some Adult Missionary Kids to Leave Their Parents' Faith

Publication Date

10-2008

Abstract

Missionary families have a high level of commitment to their faith. What, then, would cause a child from such a faith commitment to turn away from this heritage? Factors identified by research as mediating religious doubt include problematic family relationships, adverse life events, and incongruities observed. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 16 adult missionary kids (AMK) who left their parents' tradition of faith. The participants had a mean age of 47, came from 13 evangelical missions, and lived on three different continents. A semi-structured interview was used to explore facets of their MK childhoods to identify significant patterns. Results indicated a strong pattern of benign disengagement between parent and child; marked stressors inherent to missionary life including frequent moves, stresses related to schooling, as well as unique stressors in the form of trauma and abuse; and significant questions and incongruities that arose from their observations.

Keywords

Children of missionaries; Homesickness

Publication Title

Missiology: An International Review

Volume

36

Issue

4

First Page

457

Last Page

473

DOI of Published Version

10.1177/009182960803600405

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