Study: Most teens still hold on to their parents’ religious beliefs

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A new study by Bench highlights how the faith is passed from generation to generation in America today. The big takeaway: Teens still draw inspiration from their parents’ religious beliefs, for the most part. This is especially true for Catholics and Evangelicals. 81 percent of teens raised by Catholic parents and 80 percent of teens raised by Evangelical parents said they were also Catholic and Evangelical, respectively.

This is less true for teens raised in Protestant homes in the Mainline, where only 55% of teens said they shared their parents’ religious beliefs.

Likewise, the overwhelming majority of adolescents (86%) raised in homes with no religious affiliation also said they were not attached to any particular religion.

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So while there aren’t huge gaps in terms of actual religious beliefs, there are changes in smaller, more personal ways. For example, teens are about half as likely as their parents to say that religion is “very important” in their lives.

Interestingly, about half of all teens surveyed reported having “all of the same” religious beliefs of their parents. And among teens who say they have different beliefs, about a third say their parents didn’t know them.


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