Survey: Childhood religious involvement often sparks adult faith

Survey data released by the Christian study organization The Barna Group reveals a strong correlation between childhood exposure to faith and church and the continuation of that faith into adulthood. A sample of 1,000 American adults in July revealed that 78 percent of adults who regularly attended religious services and functions as young children did not have significant changes in their faith outlook as adults. Similarly, 79 percent of adults who continued with exposure to church into their teenage years reported little variance from the faith taught them growing up. The survey identifies that 69 percent of adults recall having regular exposure to religion as young children or adolescents. Among the most active as children were Catholics (86%), upscale adults (78%), Midwesterners (76%), notional Christians (75%), college graduates (75%), women (73%), political conservatives (73%), and those ages 65-plus (73%). “The study shows that most American adults recall frequent faith activity when they were growing up,” said Barna Group president David Kinnaman. “Moreover, it provides clarity that the odds of one sticking with faith over a lifetime are enhanced in a positive direction by spiritual activity under the age of 18. And it raises the intriguing possibility that being involved at least a few times a month is correlated with nearly the same sticking power as weekly involvement – especially among teenagers.” Link: New Research Explores the Long-Term Effect of Spiritual Activity among Children and Teens: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/321-new-research-explores-the-long-term-effect-of-spiritual-activity-among-children-and-teens

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