Parents pass on religious views more than political views, survey finds

May 17, 2023 at 3:37 p.m.
Parents pass on religious views more than political views, survey finds
Parents pass on religious views more than political views, survey finds

By Kate Scanlon • OSV News

WASHINGTON – Parents in the U.S. are more likely to prioritize passing on their religious views to their children rather than their political views, according to data analysis from the Pew Research Center.

A new analysis of several Pew Research Center surveys found that most parents pass along both kinds of affiliation to their children.

One survey by the center found that 35% of U.S. parents said it was "extremely or very important" that their children share their religious views, while fewer than half as many – 16% – said the same of their political views. However, the survey found that parents ranked passing on both religious and political views as less important than passing along other values, "such as being honest and ethical, hardworking, and ambitious."
[[In-content Ad]]

Pew then compared that data alongside a 2019 survey of more than 1,800 teens, ages 13 to 17, that researchers interviewed alongside one parent or guardian. That survey found that high majorities of Republican and Democrat parental figures – 81% and 89% respectively – had teens who described themselves either as having the same affiliation or leaning that way.

Similarly high rates in that survey were found for religious views; 82% of Protestant parental figures had teens who also identified as Protestant, while 81% of Catholic parents had Catholic teens. Meanwhile, 86% of religiously unaffiliated parents, which Pew said were the ones who described themselves as "atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular," had teens who expressed similar views. Pew noted the survey sample "was not large enough to estimate transmission rates among parents who belong to non-Christian religious groups, such as Jews and Muslims."

Pew then compared that data to another 2015 survey, which found that most people who were raised in a single religion, either by two parents of the same faith or by a single parent, still identified as an adherent of that religion. Among those raised in Protestant households, 79% were still Protestant, while among those raised Catholic, 62% described themselves as such.

Similarly, among those raised with no religious affiliation, 62% were still unaffiliated.

Among those raised in interfaith households, the numbers dropped, the survey found. Of respondents who were raised by a Protestant parent and another unaffiliated parent, 56% identified as Protestant, while 34% were unaffiliated, 3% were Catholic and 7% belonged to other religions.

In interfaith households with a Catholic parent and the other unaffiliated, 42% said they were unaffiliated in adulthood, while 32% said they were Catholic. Another 20% said they were Protestant, and 5% identified with other religions.

In interfaith households with one Protestant parent and one Catholic, Pew called the outcome "close to a toss-up." When children from these households reached adulthood, 38% identified as Protestant, 29% as Catholic, 26% as unaffiliated and 7% identified with other religions.

Kate Scanlon is a national reporter for OSV News covering Washington. Follow her on Twitter @kgscanlon.


Related Stories

WASHINGTON – Parents in the U.S. are more likely to prioritize passing on their religious views to their children rather than their political views, according to data analysis from the Pew Research Center.

A new analysis of several Pew Research Center surveys found that most parents pass along both kinds of affiliation to their children.

One survey by the center found that 35% of U.S. parents said it was "extremely or very important" that their children share their religious views, while fewer than half as many – 16% – said the same of their political views. However, the survey found that parents ranked passing on both religious and political views as less important than passing along other values, "such as being honest and ethical, hardworking, and ambitious."
[[In-content Ad]]

Pew then compared that data alongside a 2019 survey of more than 1,800 teens, ages 13 to 17, that researchers interviewed alongside one parent or guardian. That survey found that high majorities of Republican and Democrat parental figures – 81% and 89% respectively – had teens who described themselves either as having the same affiliation or leaning that way.

Similarly high rates in that survey were found for religious views; 82% of Protestant parental figures had teens who also identified as Protestant, while 81% of Catholic parents had Catholic teens. Meanwhile, 86% of religiously unaffiliated parents, which Pew said were the ones who described themselves as "atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular," had teens who expressed similar views. Pew noted the survey sample "was not large enough to estimate transmission rates among parents who belong to non-Christian religious groups, such as Jews and Muslims."

Pew then compared that data to another 2015 survey, which found that most people who were raised in a single religion, either by two parents of the same faith or by a single parent, still identified as an adherent of that religion. Among those raised in Protestant households, 79% were still Protestant, while among those raised Catholic, 62% described themselves as such.

Similarly, among those raised with no religious affiliation, 62% were still unaffiliated.

Among those raised in interfaith households, the numbers dropped, the survey found. Of respondents who were raised by a Protestant parent and another unaffiliated parent, 56% identified as Protestant, while 34% were unaffiliated, 3% were Catholic and 7% belonged to other religions.

In interfaith households with a Catholic parent and the other unaffiliated, 42% said they were unaffiliated in adulthood, while 32% said they were Catholic. Another 20% said they were Protestant, and 5% identified with other religions.

In interfaith households with one Protestant parent and one Catholic, Pew called the outcome "close to a toss-up." When children from these households reached adulthood, 38% identified as Protestant, 29% as Catholic, 26% as unaffiliated and 7% identified with other religions.

Kate Scanlon is a national reporter for OSV News covering Washington. Follow her on Twitter @kgscanlon.

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


El Papa propone un propósito para la Cuaresma: Mantener los ojos en Jesús
Esta Cuaresma, los cristianos deben convertirse en "buscadores de luz"...

ACTUALIZACIÓN: Aún enfermo, el Papa cede la lectura de su catequesis sobre la envidia y la vanagloria
Al llegar en silla de ruedas en lugar de caminar con su bastón

Flavorful Fridays: The beauty of the uncooked meal
As much as I love cooking, there are some days when putting something in the oven...

Pope makes brief trip to hospital for unspecified tests
Pope Francis paid a brief visit to Gemelli Isola Hospital ...

Still sick, Pope has aide read his audience talk on envy and pride
Arriving in a wheelchair instead of walking with his cane...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.