Ties in with Free Northerner’s excellent recent post on adolescence, here.
Hint: if you see a ‘You have reached the end of this Article Preview’ notice after the first few paragraphs: highlight some of the text and Google it, then when you see the same CT story at or near the top of the search results, click on it; you should be able to read the entire thing, coming from Google (it worked for me, anyway).
What are the traits of religious American teenagers who retain a high faith commitment as emerging adults?
The most important factor is parents. For better or worse, parents are tremendously important in shaping their children’s faith trajectories. That’s the story that came out in Soul Searching. It’s also the story that comes out here.
Another factor is youth having established devotional lives—that is, praying, reading Scripture—during the teenage years. Those who do so as teenagers are much more likely than those who don’t to continue doing so into emerging adulthood. In some cases, having other adults in a congregation who you have relationships with, and who are supportive and provide modeling, also matters.
Some readers are going to be disappointed that going on mission trips doesn’t appear to amount to a hill of beans, at least for emerging adults as a whole. For some it’s important, but not for…
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