Conservative religious parents have better success at transmitting faith to their children than moderates or liberals, study finds

Thursday, January 20, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , ,

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A new study has found that religious conservative parents have greater success in passing their faith on to their children than liberal or moderate parents do, Christian Headlines (CH) reports. Published in the journal Sociology of Religion, the study contends this outcome is partly due to conservative parents being more likely to pray and discuss God in the home.

Using data from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) obtained from interviews with the same individuals several years apart, the study was conducted by Jesse Smith, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Penn State University, CH reports. According to Smith, religion must be a part of daily family life if it is going to pass down to children. “[If children] do not encounter religion in a serious way at home, they are not likely to get it anywhere else,” Smith wrote in his report.

One-quarter of children of religious conservatives say faith is “extremely important,” to them, the study found. This compared to less than one-fifth of children of moderates/liberals/others, CH reports.

Smith still found that children of religious conservatives are, on average, less religious than their parents: conservative parents “still face an uphill battle in passing on the faith,” he wrote.

Nevertheless, Smith wrote, “religious conservative parents are managing that challenge somewhat better than others, and their secret is simple: when it comes to religious parenting, be hands-on.”

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