Sunday, November 4, 2012
Researchers have found that religiously-affiliated youth are 40% more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers and 70% more likely to enroll in college
The researchers note that teens' fellow church-goers are an important factor, serving as mentors who help teens set their sights high. They found that Catholic teens, mainline Protestants and black Protestant congregations are twice as likely as unaffiliated teens to finish high school and about 80% more likely to enroll in college. They also found that Jewish and Mormon youths have the highest odds of graduating high school and college enrollment. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have long emphasized to youth the importance of higher education as a means of seeking truth and becoming self-reliant. And according to data gathered by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, that message gets through to Latter-day Saint youth. The recent Pew data shows that about one-third of LDS adults reared in the faith have graduated from college and another third have completed at least some college. By comparison, national data shows that 28% of Americans age 25 and above hold college degrees and 21% have completed some college. And across all faiths, the study found that measures of religious participation and spirituality are positively associated with higher educational attainment. Church attendance, for example, was especially predictive of high school graduation, while prayer was more influential for college enrollment.