The issue of teens and spirituality is creating concern among both the organized religious and those adults who simply consider themselves spiritual but not religious. People are often shocked by what they perceive as a blatant and undisguised atheism among some teens today. Assuming that this attitude is rampant, some critics blame technology while others point the finger at increasingly permissive morality in developed countries. This concern is perennial. Today's generations of adults and teens are not the first ones to suggest that there is a lessening of faith among young people. The consistent revival of this concern does not mean, however, that it is not legitimate. Some statistics might help the analysis.
The Barna Group is a California-based organization that specializes in research regarding spirituality and religion. Over the last decade, they have tracked religious activities and other faith-oriented behavior among young people. They have found that many of the activities which are traditionally associated with religion are in decline in the US among teens. For example, prayer and evangelism are at their lowest recorded level ever. Nevertheless, the US is still a much more faithful nation than many others. About half of teenagers between ages 13 and 17 still attend church regularly.
More Than a Spiritual Matter
The concern people have about this issue is not just derived from identity issues. That is to say, people are not just worried about their kids falling out of line with the group to which they belong. Instead, there is real concern about the safety and well-being of these apparently faithless teens. Statistics also show that teens that belong to faith groups of one sort or another are less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs and they are also less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.
This is a particularly tough conundrum for adults who do not belong to any church but are disturbed by their children's lack of faith. While these adults may have been formed by an institutional religion and relied on the safety born of the moral coherence of that group, their children do not have such a base in their life. It is naturally hard for these adults to do anything about their concerns because they have nothing to which they can refer their children.
Adults are finding that teen spirituality does matter with regard to their physical and psychological well-being. The question remains as to whether this issue matters to teens.
About the Author: Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and currently partners with HelpYourTeenNow.com in spreading awareness about troubled and depressed teenagers (and how to deal with them). Help Your Teen Now aims to increase awareness on the current psychological and societal stresses of today's teens and how these factors affect the future of our society.