Study: Most teens still hold on to their parents’ religious beliefs

A new study by Bench highlights how faith is passed down from generation to generation in America today. The big takeaway: Teenagers still hold on to the religious beliefs of their parents, for the most part. This is especially true of Catholics and Evangelicals. 81% of teens raised by Catholic parents and 80% of teens raised by Evangelical parents said they were also Catholic and Evangelical, respectively.

This is less true for teens raised in traditional Protestant homes, where only 55% of teens said they shared their parents’ religious beliefs.

Similarly, the overwhelming majority of teens (86%) raised in a household with no religious affiliation also said they did not adhere to any particular religion.

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So while there aren’t huge discrepancies in terms of actual religious beliefs, there are some changes in smaller, more personal ways. For example, teenagers are about half as likely as their parents to say religion is “very important” in their lives.

Interestingly, about half of all teens surveyed said they had “all the same” religious beliefs as their parents. And of teens who say they have different beliefs, about a third say their parents didn’t know about them.