Psychology Faculty Publications
Christian Student Perceptions of Body Tattoos: A Qualitative Analysis
Journal of Psychology & Christianity
We used qualitative research methodology in appraising 24 evangelical Christian college students' perceptions (15 female and 9 male), voluntarily recruited, of their tattoo choices. After coding the transcribed interviews, four predominant themes emerged. First, students believed that the Bible did not forbid their tattooing practices. Second, special religious significances were ascribed to the tattoos' meanings by most of the participants. Third, few students described making rash decisions when becoming tattooed, but rather, thought through their decisions rather carefully. And finally, friends generally were encouraging of the participants' decisions to tattoo while family members were more discouraging. In sum, participants in our study did not portray rebellion or deviance in the choice to tattoo, but rather, viewed the decisions as spiritual expressions.
Students, Christian college students, tattooing, qualitative research
Firmin, M., Tse, L., Angelini, T., & Foster, J. (2008). Christian student perceptions of body tattoos: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 27, 195-204.