Thursday, August 21, 2008

A good reason to force your teens to church!

A tip of the biretta to Episcopal Cafe for this item.

Does going to to church improve kids GPA? A new study shows that children and youth who attend church have higher grades than their peers. The surprise in the study is that it does not matter if they believe what they hear in church, it is attendance that matters.

Researchers found that church attendance has as much effect on a teen's GPA as whether the parents earned a college degree. Students in grades 7 to 12 who went to church weekly also had lower dropout rates and felt more a part of their schools.

..... Students who attend religious services weekly average a GPA .144 higher than those who never attend services, said Jennifer Glanville, a sociologist at the University of Iowa.

The study.....identifies several reasons the students do better:

*They have regular contact with adults from various generations who serve as role models
*Their parents are more likely to communicate with their friends' parents
*They develop friendships with peers who have similar norms and values *They're more likely to participate in extracurricular activities

"Surprisingly, the importance of religion to teens had very little impact on their educational outcomes," Glanville said. "That suggests that the act of attending church -- the structure and the social aspects associated with it -- could be more important to educational outcomes than the actual religion."

Religious-service attendance had the same effect across all major denominations, the researchers found. The results are detailed in the winter 2008 issue of the Sociological Quarterly.

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