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How Does Religion and Spirituality Affect the Teenage Population?


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Over 85 percent of teenagers are affiliated with an organized religion. In addition, it is estimated that 80 percent of these individuals pray and 40 percent pray daily. More than half of this population attends religious services at least monthly.

If I were to ask high school seniors how important religion is to them, the majority would most likely report some type of religious belief or belief in a higher power is an important part of their lives.

Religion has also been identified as a protective resource for the younger population. Teenagers who report religious beliefs tend to have lower levels of:

  • Drinking
  • Drug use
  • Delinquency
  • And early *** behavior

    In view of the above findings and much more than these I imagine there is ongoing research and available grants for additional research. One funding opportunity announcement I discovered was issued under the United States Department of Health and Human Services first in September of 2007. Title: The Influence of Religiosity and Spirituality on Health Risk Behaviors in Children and Adolescents (R21)

    The announcement asked for research studies that examine the:

  • Mechanisms
  • Mediators
  • And moderators

    By which religious and spiritual beliefs develop and are taught or passed down to other generations.

    The National Institute of Health was named as the participating organization. The NIH would like to learn whether and how these beliefs influence early *** behaviors, alcohol or other drug use that may facilitate the transmission of HIV in children and adolescents. The focus is on positive and negative effects of religiosity and spirituality.

    The realization that so many teenagers are interested in religion and incorporate religion into their lives in some way or another prompts our government agencies and others to take a closer look at how this affects the teenage population, their behaviors and our society.

    I hope more and more human service agencies learn how to intertwine religion, spirituality and scientific research into their programs of care. I feel scientific methods of treating social, mental and emotional problems are not enough for anyone.

    Source: Online Government Grants

    Written by: Connie Limon Visit for more information about the career of human service specialists. For a variety of FREE reprint articles visit

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