Fffbengtsondeck

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Our slides from the Future of Faith Formation Digital Interview with Vern Bengtson from USC.

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Fffbengtsondeck

  1. 1. Overview • A 35-year study of families and generations • Influence of parents & grandparents on religion • Are families still passing on their faith? 1
  2. 2. Still, religion is pervasive in American society • Religion is still important to most Americans – 92% of Americans say they believe in God – 68% of British – 32% of Swedes • 72 % of Americans say they pray daily • 56% say that religion is “very important” in their lives Sources: Zuckerman (2012); Pew (2013) How important is religion in families? 2
  3. 3. 3 We conducted a study based on 35 years of data on families to find out. The book received a surprising response from the media.
  4. 4. 4 1-27-14: “Mothers and fathers often throw up their hands and let popular culture take over, but parents have greater moral and religious influence than they think.”
  5. 5. 5 2-1-14:Parental bonds prove more important than their practices or piety in passing on religious values.”
  6. 6. Parents and value transmission Contrary to expectations, our data showed that parents had substantial influence on Millennials’ religious orientations. 6
  7. 7. 7 Figure 1. Similarity Between Parents & Young Adult Children on Four Dimensions of Religiosity, 2005 (Standardized coefficients) 0.32 0.58 0.49 0.43 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 Religious Intensity Religious Participation Biblical Literalism Civic Religiosity 2005
  8. 8. Furthermore, there did not appear to have been a decline in transmission over time: coefficients of similarity were the same in 2005 as in 1970. 8
  9. 9. 9 Figure 2. Similarity Between Parents & Young Adult Children on Four Dimensions of Religiosity, 1970 (red bar) and 2005 (yellow) 0.41 0.59 0.54 0.44 0.32 0.58 0.49 0.43 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 Religious Intensity Religious Participation Biblical Literalism Civic Religiosity
  10. 10. As we examined factors associated with high parental influence, we found that emotional bonds were key—particularly a warm relationship with a father. 10
  11. 11. 11 Figure 3. Similarity Between Parents and Young Adult Children By Close versus Not Close Relationship, 2005 0.52 0.68 0.63 0.57 0.26 0.3 0.44 0.37 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 Religious Intensity Religious Participation Biblical Literalism Civic Religiosity Close Not Close
  12. 12. 12 Low High Child'sReligiousness Parent's Religiousness Low Closeness High Closeness Figure 4. A Close Parent-child Relationship Increases Transmission of Religious Values
  13. 13. As families are changing in America, it is increasingly important to look beyond the nuclear family. Grandparents have an influence, and we found their effects on the religious values of Millennials to be lasting. 13
  14. 14. 14 Figure 5. Similarity between Grandparents and Grandchildren, 2005 0.20 0.21 0.31 0.27 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 Religious Identity Religious Participaion Biblical Literalism Civic Religiosity
  15. 15. • Perhaps even more surprising… The degree of grandparental influence on grandchildren's religiosity does not appear to have declined since the 1960s. 15
  16. 16. 16 Figure 6. Similarity Between Grandparents and Grandchildren,1970 (G1-G3) and 2005 (G2-G4) 0.18 0.26 0.27 0.26 0.2 0.21 0.31 0.27 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 Religious Identity Religious Participaion Biblical Literalism Civic Religiosity 1977 2005
  17. 17. Intergenerational Religious Momentum
  18. 18. 1. Is there a “crisis” in family values today? No. • Family bonds and family influences are strong • Multi-generational bonds may be stronger than ever before • The reason: “Longer years of linked lives” between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, than before 18
  19. 19. 2. Is there a “generation gap” in values and religion today? No. • In religious values and beliefs, there are substantial generational similarities in religion, except for church affiliation • Polls about “nones” equate religion with belonging to a church—but there’s more to religion than that • “I’m spiritual but not religious”: Many youth who reject churches are still religiously oriented 19
  20. 20. 3. Are parents failing to pass on their faith to children? No. • In religious values and beliefs, a minority of young adults are different than the parents • Quality—closeness-- of the parent-child relationship is particularly important to passing on values • Parental influence is not significantly less than it was a generation ago 20
  21. 21. 4. Are grandparents relevant? Yes. • We must look beyond the nuclear family; grandparents are more relevant to family functioning than ever before • Grandparent influence on children’s religious outcomes is surprisingly high, and it has not diminished since the 1970’s 21
  22. 22. 22

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