Are American Youth Alienated From Organized Religion?
Denton, Melinda Lundquist
National Study of Youth & Religion (U.S.)
MetadataShow full item record
One of the most widespread and persistent stereotypes about U.S. teenagers is that they are alienated from “established” or “organized” religion and that this alienation is increasing. Much popular writing about adolescents assumes this view; however, empirical data suggest that this stereotype has little basis in fact. The majority of 12th graders in the United States — about two-thirds — do not appear to be alienated from or hostile toward organized or established religion. Only about 15 percent appear to be alienated from religion, a number comparable to the percentage of U.S. adults who are alienated from religion. Another 15 percent of U.S. teens appear to be simply disengaged, neither warm nor cold, toward organized religion. Correcting misinformed stereotypes about youth alienation toward religion might help to inform community and religious institutions how they might better serve young people.
The purpose of the project is to research the shape and influence of religion and spirituality in the lives of U.S. adolescents; to identify effective practices in the religious, moral, and social formation of the lives of youth; to describe the extent to which youth participate in and benefit from the programs and opportunities that religious communities are offering to their youth; and to foster an informed national discussion about the influence of religion in youth's lives, in order to encourage sustained reflection about and rethinking of our cultural and institutional practices with regard to youth and religion.
- Papers & Reports