Poll Confirms Parents' Influence on Teens' Religious Activities

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Christian Newswire
Feb 27, 2008

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When it comes to attending church, praying and reading the Bible, the apple does not fall far from the tree. A recent poll of teens and their parents overwhelmingly confirms that parents have the most influence on their children's religious activity.

A survey -- the first to examine teens' and their parents' views of the Bible -- commissioned by the American Bible Society and conducted by Weekly Reader Research, found that almost 80 percent of America's 30.2 million 12-18 year olds think the Bible is important and 87 percent of parents think the Bible is important. However, the results show that parents still have work to do. Of the 47 percent of teens who think the Bible is very important, only 11 percent read the Bible daily.

Ten percent of America's 12-18 year-olds participate in daily Bible reading, a higher level then reported in a June 2006 survey done by the Bible Society. In that measurement, six percent of teens said they read the Bible daily. A third of teens attend weekly worship services and more than 80 percent believe their prayers are answered some or all the time.

Children mirror their parents' behavior. Parents who attend church weekly tend to have teens that worship weekly, while 78 percent of parents who never attend worship services have teens who never attend. The same correlation applies to Bible reading and prayer habits. Parents who responded positively to the question of whether it is important to raise children with religious or spiritual values had children who were significantly involved with faith.

This survey corroborates one of the findings of June 2006 The Bible Society/Weekly Reader Research poll of teens about their heroes. That poll revealed that 67.7% of 12-18-year-olds believe parents are the most important role models in today's society.

This survey mirrored the U.S. population with reference to geography, age and race. The survey of 3095 participants has a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent.

The complete details of the poll are available by writing to rlloyd@americanbible.org or calling (212) 408-8731.

Founded in 1816 and headquartered in New York City, the mission of the American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so that all people may experience its life-changing message. The American Bible Society Web site is www.Bibles.com.