Religion and the life attitudes and self-images of American adolescents
National Study of Youth & Religion (U.S.)
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CitationSmith, Christian, and Robert Faris. 2002. Religion and the life attitudes and self-images of American adolescents. Chapel Hill, NC (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 3507, Chapel Hill 27599-3057): National Study of Youth and Religion.
This report, based on nationally representative survey data, shows that religious U.S. 12th graders have significantly higher self-esteem and hold more positive attitudes about life in general than their less religious peers. Of the 13 attitudinal variables this report examines, only one was not significantly related to some dimension of religion when controlling for the effects of nine other variables such as age, race, sex and family structure. The religion factors most commonly related to these outcomes are religious service attendance and importance of religion, although religious affiliation and youth group participation were also important in many cases.
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.