Religiosity of Young Adults: The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health


Ryberg, Renee; Harris, Kathleen Mullan; & Pearce, Lisa (2018). Religiosity of Young Adults: The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.


Religiosity is important because religious affiliations and/or participation have been linked to outcomes across life domains, including volunteering (Johnston, 2013), the timing of births with respect to marriage (Pearce & Davis, 2016), marital stability, family size, educational attainment, and physical and mental health (Lehrer, 2008). Young adulthood is a life stage when young people establish separate lives from their parents, become financially independent, pursue career goals, and grow into their own identity, values, and lifestyle (Harris, 2010). With the influence of parents’ religious beliefs and affiliations on youth religiosity dwindling (Arnett & Jensen, 2002; Hoge, Johnson, & Luidens, 1993), we explore patterns of religiosity in young adulthood. This brief provides a snapshot of the religious life of young adults in the United States. We describe the demographic patterns associated with religiosity and address the following questions: 1. With what religions do young people identify? 2. How religious are young people in their beliefs and actions—in both public and private spheres? 3. How do answers to these questions vary by gender, age, race/ethnicity, education levels, and family formation?




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Add Health Research Brief


Ryberg, Renee
Harris, Kathleen Mullan
Pearce, Lisa

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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


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