A new study in the Journal of Family Psychology (Special Section: Spirituality and Religion in Family Life: Couples and Marriage) supports earlier studies in the following correlations: 1) Older kids and teens who attend religious services with their parents enjoy greater psychological well-being and 2) residing in a “non-traditional” family (defined as a single parent household or one with a step-family) in late childhood is associated with lower well-being. Another interesting point: attending religious services actually “amplifies” the positive aspects of the parent-child relationship.
This is good news for traditional Catholic families! One could say “I told you so” but then one would just be rubbing it in. 🙂
Here is the pdf if you’d like to read the whole report: Religious Attendance and Child Well-Being and here is the abstract of the study:
Despite numerous studies on adolescent well-being, longitudinal research on the influence of religion on well-being is lacking, and limited studies have looked at how family and religion may work in conjunction with one another to influence adolescent well-being. This study addresses these limitations by using longitudinal data on 5,739 youth to explore whether family structure, changes in family structure, parent–child relationship quality, and religious attendance (overall and with parents) influence trajectories of psychological well-being independently and in conjunction with one another. Results support previous research in showing that parental interaction and attending religious services with parent(s) in late childhood are associated with higher psychological well-being, whereas conflict with parents and residing in a nontraditional family in late childhood are associated with lower well-being among youth. Finally, there is evidence suggesting that attending religious services with parent(s) amplifies the positive influence of parental interaction on psychological well-being, and overall levels of religious attendance over time are less likely to increase well-being among adolescents raised by single parents than for adolescents raised by married parents.