-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Many American teens
maintain their religious identity through high school, even though
their participation in church and other religious activities
declines, a new study finds.
This was true of teens in all three groups studied -- from
Asian, Latin American and European backgrounds -- according to
University of California, Los Angeles psychiatry professor Andrew
J. Fuligni and colleagues.
The study of 500 teens in the Los Angeles area also found that
those from Latin American and Asian backgrounds had higher levels
of religious identity, and teens from Latin American backgrounds
had higher rates of religious participation.
Changes in religious identity that did occur among some teens
were associated with changes in ethnic and family identities. This
suggests important links in the development of these social
identities during the teen years, the researchers said.
The study was released online recently in advance of publication
in an upcoming print issue of the journal
The finding that many teens maintain their religious identity
through high school wasn't a surprise, despite perceptions that the
teen years are full of angst and turmoil, Fuligni said.
"Greater change likely occurs at prominent points of transition, such as the upcoming transition to adulthood," Fuligni said in a UCLA news release. "Moving away from home, encountering new work environments, attending college, developing long-term romantic relationships -- those markers in our lives -- are all features of the period after high school that may cause more significant change in religious identity."
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