The Common Good
September-October 2003

Seventh Heaven?

by Rose Marie Berger, Kate Bowman | September-October 2003

A new report from the University of North Carolina's National
Study of Youth and Religion confirms the old saw: A family that prays together, stays
together.

A new report from the University of North Carolina's National Study of Youth and Religion confirms the old saw: A family that prays together, stays together. American families who are "religiously involved" have stronger family relationships than those who aren't, according to the new study.

Focusing specifically on the families of 12-to-14-year olds, the study examines the quality of relationships between children and parents in association with family religious activity, parental worship service attendance, and parental prayer. Youth whose parents attend worship services on a regular basis—only 37 percent of all adolescents—are significantly more likely than their counterparts to display signs of healthy family relationships, including: frequently eating dinner at home; mothers who know who they are with when they're not home and who know their close friends' parents; fathers whom they aspire to be like, and who know about their friendships and school life; and not running away from home.

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