Adolescent Religion and Life Outcomes

Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton

in Soul Searching

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195180954
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835829 | DOI:
 Adolescent Religion and Life Outcomes

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This chapter explores the associations between religiosity and youth outcomes. It addresses the question of causality and selection effects, seeking to clarify whether and to what extent religiosity is associated with more positive adolescent life outcomes. It is shown that religious faith and practice can and does shape teenagers’ lives in positive and constructive ways. The story of Antwan, a 16-year-old African American Southern California boy, helps illustrate this point. His religion provides him with moral directives by which he has learned to negotiate his life in largely helpful ways.

Keywords: American teenagers; adolescents; religion; life outcomes; causality; religiosity

Chapter.  19303 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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