A new Child Trends research brief tracking religiosity and spirituality among youth and young adults around the world finds wide variation in attitudes and beliefs that may be linked to historic, cultural, and economic differences. Using survey data, The Demographics of Spirituality and Religiosity Among Youth: International and U.S. Patterns also finds:
- There is a clear imprint of religion on beliefs in countries with a history of an influential dominant religion, such as Catholicism or Islam, so that young adults from these countries score relatively high on questions of spirituality and religiosity.
- As countries develop economically, there tends to be less emphasis on traditional religious values.
- Spirituality does not go hand-in-hand with religiosity. Many young persons who consider themselves to be "spiritual" do not participate in traditional "religious" practices.
The brief also reviews evidence of racial and gender differences in spirituality and religiosity among young adults in the United States.