On Thursday, Townhall posted an article about the impact of church attendance on children.
The article reports:
According to a new study, children raised in a religious environment are more likely to grow up to be happy and well-adjusted adults.
The study, conducted by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was published last week in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Titled “Associations of Religious Upbringing With Subsequent Health and Well-Being From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: An Outcome-Wide Analysis,” the study’s results indicate that both children and adults who engaged in regular religious or spiritual practices were at a lower risk of developing mental health issues and substance abuse problems during their lives.
Roughly 5,000 participants engaged in the study, which followed children for a time period of between eight and 14 years. Researchers looked at the frequency with which children and teens attend church services with their parents, in addition to how often those same young people prayed and meditated on their own. As the children entered their 20s, researchers then evaluated their physical and mental health.
Children who attended church once a week with their parents were more likely to be happy. Children who prayed or meditated were emotionally stronger and less likely to engage in destructive behaviors. They also had a lower number of STD’s.
The article concludes:
The study’s senior author Tyler VanderWeele added, “While decisions about religion are not shaped principally by health, for adolescents who already hold religious beliefs, encouraging service attendance and private practices may be meaningful avenues to protect against some of the dangers of adolescence, including depression, substance abuse, and risk taking.”
“In addition, these practices may positively contribute to happiness, volunteering, a greater sense of mission and purpose, and to forgiveness,” he added.
The results of last week’s study confirm previous studies which have also linked adults’ religious involvement to “better health and well-being outcomes, including lower risk of premature death.”
When prayer was taken out of the schools, children learned that they were not accountable to anyone higher than themselves. That wasn’t what we meant to teach them, but it was what they learned. A child with a perspective that includes accountability is going to be more secure, behave better, and be happier. The framework of religion helps provide the security our children need.