New research adds to the body of evidence showing that adolescents who embrace their faith have a much lower risk of (1) drug and alcohol abuse, (2) promiscuity, and (3) narcissism and an
increased degree of (4) “prosocial” (i.e., friendly, socially conscious) behavior when compared to their non-practicing peers.
Study findings, which support a growing body of research, suggest that young people who connect to a “higher power” may feel a greater sense of purpose and are less likely to be bothered by feelings of not fitting in, said researcher Byron Johnson, Ph.D., co-director of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.
Researchers used four measures: alcohol or drug use, craving for alcohol or drugs; prosocial behaviors (service to others); and self-centered or narcissistic behavior. Forty percent of youths who entered treatments as agnostic or atheist identified themselves as spiritual or religious at discharge, which correlated with a decreased likelihood of testing positive for alcohol and drugs.
“Daily spiritual experiences” such as prayer or worship also were associated with “a greater likelihood of sexual abstinence, increased prosocial behaviors and reduced narcissistic behaviors,” researchers wrote. READ MORE.
If you’d like to discover ways to raise healthy, faithful kids, check out Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids and Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Raising Sexually Whole and Holy Kids.