9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Researching Childhood and Children's Lives I Building II, C6.01

Does Religion Count? Children' Well-Being and Family Life Among Adoloscents in a Postsocialist Country

Spirituality has changed and gotten a new meaning recently. In every person's life a demand appears for spirituality and rituals. The question is how people treat this phenomenon in the everyday life. Because of the effects of secularization the previous dominance of religion declined and new waves of religious movements were established. Our aim is to have an outline of what religion means for today's adolescents and what opportunities of religious behavior they can choose in a postsocialist country. Furthermore, we would like to understand how religiousness as a main field in the value system may provide security and guidelines in life; and the way how these may be connected to healthy adaptation in the family. The present study (N=881; 44.6 females) reports on Hungarian adolescents' religious denominations, their religiousness and religious attendance with attention put on sociodemographic and socio-economic background. We attempt to reveal the connection between respect of parental values, parental control and social support regarding religiousness. Results suggest that adolescents' level of religiousness is rather low. 41% presented themselves 'not religious at all'. Others mentioned several denominations from traditional churches to the 'new age' groups like Buddhist, Adventist or Followers of White Magic. The level of religious activity is also low. 49.8% chose the response 'never' for frequency of going to church. Respect of parental values, parental control and perceived social support scores were higher among more religious and more religiously active adolescents. We may conclude that adolescents' religiousness is closely related to family lives and parent-child relationship.