Faith-Based Upbringing Linked to Lower Stress Levels in Global Youth Study

A recent international survey by Young Life reveals that young individuals raised in faith-oriented environments experience less stress than their peers without a religious upbringing. The study, part of The RELATE Project, surveyed over 7,000 youth aged 13-24 from various parts of the world.

This research aims to deepen understanding of the thoughts and feelings of today’s youth. Insights from this study will be released in stages throughout the year, with the latest findings unveiled this week.

The results highlight a strong preference among young people for genuine, uncomplicated relationships. The report phrases this as an invitation to “your dinner table—both literally and figuratively.”

According to the findings, modern youth face unique challenges transitioning from childhood to adulthood, often exacerbated by an overwhelming digital landscape. The consequences of this digital saturation include anxiety, self-doubt, and loneliness.

The study emphasizes the critical role of supportive adults who can provide guidance through these challenging times and help young people navigate this complex period.

Statistics from the study show that about one-third of teens and young adults report high-stress levels, struggling to manage busy schedules, societal pressures, personal aspirations, and numerous relationships. This stress is notably prevalent in the United States and the United Kingdom.

However, the study points out the beneficial effects of a faith-based upbringing. Young people with such backgrounds generally report lower stress levels, suggesting that faith communities and resources could play a vital role in stress management.

Interestingly, the research also notes that teens and young adults are more likely to seek support from friends (57%) or family (54%) rather than turning to the internet (23%) when faced with personal challenges.

Kimberly Nollan, director of research and evaluation at Young Life, shared that the desire for community and meaningful connections is evident among Generation Z. She notes, “Sharing a meal or simply spending time together can significantly impact, showing young people that they are valued and belong.”

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