Child abuse??? The statistics

(This post is the “boring”-numbers-part of a two-part feature. The point of the story is actually here.)

First example :

From the page I linked to, I get this quote:

“Positive Life Outcomes

Religious participation seems to be having a positive effect on youth… “In general, for whatever reasons and whatever the causal directions, more highly religiously active teenagers are doing significantly better in life on a variety of important outcomes than are less religiously active teens.”…………Data suggested that, compared to their less religiously active peers, more religiously active kids were less likely to: engage in illegal substance abuse; use the Internet to view pornography; get lower school grades ; get suspended or expelled from school; be described by parents as fairly or very rebellious; lie to parents; or to have engaged in sex before marriage. Less religious involvement also correlated to a poorer self-image, greater sadness and feelings of depression. Conversely, Smith and Denton said, the more religiously devoted teenagers were, the less likely they were to believe in relativistic morality, and the more likely they were to say they cared about the needs of the poor and the elderly, as well as “about equality between different racial groups.”

While admitting that other factors may enter into this equation — such as personality types — the researchers stated: “Something about religion itself causes the good outcomes for youth. By general implication, teens who increase their religious involvement should, net of other factors, reduce their chances of experiencing negative and harmful outcomes,” and vice versa.”

 

Second example:  

 In a report called Third Millenium teens, brought out by the Barna Research group in 1999, the following statistics was found:(1)

“Research shows that when young people lack a basic biblical belief system, it negatively affects their attitudes.(2)

As a result they are:

225% more likely to be angry with life

216% more likely to be resentful

210% more likely to lack purpose in life

200% more likely to be disappointed in life.

The research also shows that our young people’s failure to adopt a foundational Christian belief system negatively impacts their behavior. They are:

48% more likely to cheat on an exam

200% more likely to steal

200% more likely to physically hurt someone

300% more likely to use illegal drugs

600% more likely to attempt suicide.”

 

Third example:

 According to Patrick Fagan, 2006, teens from families with frequent religious attendance:

  • averaged fewer sexual partners when compared to peers with low to no religious attendance
  • were the least likely to have ever run away

 Patrick Fagan also says that teens from intact families with frequent religious attendance:

  • were the least likely to have ever been drunk (22.4 percent) when compared to (a) their peers from non-intact families with frequent religious attendance (24.5 percent), (b) peers from intact families with low to no religious attendance (33.4 percent), and (c) peers from non-intact families with low to no religious attendance (41.2 percent).
  • were least likely to have ever used hard drugs (8.5 percent) compared to (a) their peers from non-intact families with frequent religious attendance (9.5 percent), (b) peers from intact families with low to no religious attendance (14.6 percent), and (c) peers from non-intact families with low to no religious attendance (20.1 percent).
  • were least likely to have ever gotten into a fight (27.1 percent) when compared to (a) their peers from intact families with infrequent religious attendance (32.1 percent), (b) peers from non-intact families with frequent religious attendance (34.3 percent), and (c) peers from non-intact families with infrequent religious attendance (43.5 percent).

 

Fourth example: 

According to John P. Bartkowski, children of parents who more frequently attended religious services:

  • exhibited higher levels of cognitive skills than those whose parents attended church less often (according to teachers’ reports)
  • were less likely to exhibit behavioral problems at school
  • were less likely to act impulsively or to be overactive at home
  • were less likely to have internalizing behavior problems (in terms of anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, and sadness)
  • tended to have a higher level of self-control while under parental supervision in their homes, according to parents’ reports.

Bartkowski also says children whose parents had more frequent discussions about religion with them:

  • exhibited higher levels of cognitive development
  • decreased in the likelihood that their children would exhibit problem behavior in school
  • were less likely to act impulsively or to be overactive at home

 

Fifth example 

According to a George Barna study with 8-12 year-olds:

a) there is a correlation between them claiming that the church have positively affected their life, and them doing well in school

b) Born again Christian children 8-12  (Children on whom “religious abuse” – by the New Atheist definition – had an impact, remember?) are more likely to feel safe at home, and to trust their parents. (I would call that rather unusual for “abused” children.)

c) The born again children were also much more likely than non- born again tweens to possess an upbeat life perspective.

 

And the effects in later life? It seems that highly religious people (often people whose parents “abused” them with ”religious indoctrination” when they were little, and who still continue this “pattern of abuse” by believing in God and praying) are healthier, happier and more happily married.

 

Go back to the “Child abuse???” post.

——————————–

(1) These numbers are quoted in Josh McDowell’s book, “The Last Christian Generation.”

(2) “Having a Biblical belief system” of course, goes a lot deeper than merely professing Christianity. Thus, the mere fact that a child calls himself a Christian do not mean he is necessarily this much better off in statistical terms.

 

 

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One thought on “Child abuse??? The statistics

  1. Pingback: Child abuse??? « Looking around and trying to understand

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