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Many of us know about the high correlation between the faith of parents and the faith of teenagers. This was all sorted out and described by Christian Smith, in his book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers
. But I was reading another study the other day and came across something that is powerfully disturbing.
What do you think?
It comes from Jeffrey Arnett’s book Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties
“In statistical analyses, there was no relationship between exposure to religious training in childhood and any aspect of their [emerging adults] religious beliefs as emerging adults” (174).
Arnett knows of the studies that show high correlation during the teenage years, and he also knows that some emerging adults return to the faith of their parents. But he observes this: “Evidently, however, something changes between adolescence and emerging adulthood that dissolves the link between the religious beliefs of parents and the beliefs of their children” (174). That is, “it all comes to naught in emerging adulthood” (175).