Children Thrive When Parents Follow Religious Beliefs, Study Shows

Children with religious parents are better behaved and appear happier than children raised by parents without the influence of religious faith, a new study has shown. The first to examine the impact of religion on the development of young children, the study was authored by John Bartkowski, a sociologist with Mississippi State University. Bartkowski’s team questioned the parents and teachers of more than 16,000 children, asking the adults to rate the children–most of them age six–on self-control, frequency of poor or unhappy behavior, and their ability to respect and work with peers. The results were compared to the parents’ rate of attendence at church services, how frequently they talked about faith with their child, and whether or not there was arguing over religion in the home.