University of Pennsylvania poll says U.S. teens are as religious as ever

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Disputing some doomsayers, a University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work report says ''today's youth exhibit the same religious trends as previous generations, if not more.''

That conclusion stems from a newly reported 2000 poll of 2,004 young people ages 11 to 18. It found 50.5 percent considered religion ''extremely'' or ''very important,'' with another 33.2 percent saying religion is ''fairly important.'' Importance ranked highest among girls and blacks, and declined among older teens.

In addition, 45.6 percent of their parents or guardians said the teens attended worship at least three times in the past month, and 41.2 percent said the teens were involved in other religious activities.

The social work scholars noted other research indicating religious involvement may counteract juvenile delinquency and teen drug and alcohol abuse.

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