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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Study: Decline in Adolescent Religious Beliefs & Practices Over Time

The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) recently announced the release of a new report on adolescents in the United States based on the second wave of NSYR survey data.

In "Religion and Spirituality on the Path Through Adolescence," the authors examined religious and spiritual changes in the lives of adolescents in the United States across a three-year span. The comparison of NSYR survey responses from the same adolescents in 2002 and 2005 reveals relatively small but consistent decreases in conventional religious beliefs and practices. Although the majority of adolescents in this study remained stable in their religious beliefs, practices, and spirituality, a significant minority did experience slight shifts away from standard religious beliefs and decreases in religious practice. Overall, the dynamics in religiosity and spirituality among this nationally representative sample of adolescents reflect subtle changes--rather than large or dramatic shifts.

The report, is authored by Melinda Lundquist Denton, Co-Investigator with the NSYR and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Clemson University, Lisa Pearce, Co-Principle Investigator of the second wave of the NSYR and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Christian Smith, Principal Investigator of the NSYR and Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame.

To download the entire report in pdf format, click here.

Source: National Study of Youth & Religion