ERIC Number: ED483298
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Does Religious Participation Help Keep Adolescents in School?
Gardner, Nancy Augustine
American Youth Policy Forum
Many recent studies, both popular and academic, have focused attention on the life chances of children. There is particular concern about the lingering effects of disadvantages experienced during childhood, such as family instability, neighborhood instability, and the inadequacy of local institutions. These factors are thought to work together to ensure that poor families stay poor, and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds carry those disadvantages with them to adulthood. Numerous studies have shown the importance of various aspects of parental achievements and family life, household stability, and neighborhood/school characteristics. Generally overlooked, however, is whether a child's association with a religious institution (church, synagogue, mosque or other house of worship) can contribute to his or her success. Religious participation should make a difference because it (1) provides opportunities for congregants to acquire skills and attributes that better enable them to succeed at school; (2) provides a context for the development of social contacts that can enhance informal information-gathering; and (3) improves personal well-being. Teens also benefit from (4) exposure to positive role models; (5) relationships with adults outside of the family; and (6) diversion from potentially risky activities. Participation in secular activities is also expected to promote the success of teens, for similar reasons. Appended are: (1) Participation Survey Questions; (2) Methodology; (3) Other Factors That Influence the Likelihood of Graduating On-Time; (4) Other Factors That Influence Educational Attainment (Total Number of Years of Education); and (5) Charitable Choice, the Faith-Based Initiative, and the Separation of Church and State. [AYPF events and policy reports are made possible through the support of a consortium of philanthropic foundations including: J & M Foundation; Joseph and May Winston Foundation, and others.]
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Role Models, Neighborhoods, Family Life, Adolescents, Religion, State Church Separation, Student Participation, Educational Attainment
American Youth Policy Forum, Publications Department, 1836 Jefferson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Web site: http://www.aypf.org.
Publication Type: Collected Works - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI.; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, OH.; Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; Lumina Foundation for Education, Indianapolis, IN. KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Cincinnati, OH.
Authoring Institution: American Youth Policy Forum, Washington, DC.