Recommended

Most Christian parents are worried about their kids' spiritual health: poll

Teen, Gen Z, boy, Teenager
Getty Images

An overwhelming majority of American parents are concerned about their children’s spiritual well-being, with concerns highest among practicing Christians, according to a poll released by Barna.

On Wednesday, Barna released the results of a survey that asked 513 parents of children younger than 18 about their level of concern regarding their children’s spiritual development and their children’s relationships with their peers.

Conducted April 23 through May 5, 2021, the survey asked parents “how concerned are you about your child/children’s spiritual development?” A majority of respondents (73%) indicated that they were either “somewhat” or “very” concerned with their children's spiritual development.

Conversely, only 27% of parents said they were “not very” or “not at all” concerned about their children’s spiritual development. The survey broke the respondents down into three categories: practicing Christian parents, Christian parents, and non-Christian parents. It classified “Christians who have attended a worship service within the past month and strongly agree their faith is important to their life” as practicing Christians.

A majority of practicing Christian parents (51%) reported feeling “very” concerned about their children’s spiritual development, followed by 33% who were “somewhat” concerned, 9% who were “not very” concerned and 7% who were “not at all” concerned. Similarly, 80% of Christian parents were either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about their children’s spiritual development, while only 20% were either “not very” or “not at all” worried.

Non-Christian parents had the lowest level of concern about their children’s spiritual health among the three groups, with 27% telling pollsters that they were “very” concerned about their children’s spiritual development and an additional 31% identifying themselves as “somewhat” concerned. The remainder of non-Christian parents were either “not very” (18%) or “not at all” (25%) concerned about their children’s spiritual development.

Practicing Christians also had the highest level of concern about their children staying true to their faith among the three groups surveyed. A solid majority of practicing Christians (58%) asserted that they were “very” concerned about whether their children would “stay true to their spiritual faith,” while an additional 28% were “somewhat” concerned. The share of practicing Christian parents characterizing themselves as “not very” or “not at all” concerned was measured at 8% and 6%, respectively.

A plurality of self-identified Christian parents (43%) reported feeling “very” concerned about their children staying true to their faith, followed by 33% who were “somewhat” concerned, 16% who were “not very” concerned and 8% who were “not at all” concerned. A plurality of non-Christian parents (32%) maintained that they were “not at all” concerned about their children abandoning their faith, followed by 29% who listed themselves as “somewhat” concerned, 26% “very” concerned and 13% “not at all” concerned.

Among U.S. parents as a whole, 38% described themselves as “very” concerned about the possibility of their children abandoning the faith, while an additional 32% said they were “somewhat” concerned. The share of U.S. parents who were “not very” or “not at all” concerned about their children were each measured at 15%.

The survey also asked parents about their level of concern surrounding their children’s ability to make meaningful relationships with other children. A plurality of U.S. parents (48%) said that they were “very” concerned about their children’s ability to form meaningful relationships with their peers and an additional 35% identified themselves as “somewhat” concerned. The remaining parents were either “not very” (11%) or “not at all” (5%) concerned about their children’s ability to form interpersonal relationships with others in their age group.

Concerns about their children’s ability to develop relationships with their peers united all parents, regardless of their faith background. The share of parents who felt “very concerned” about their children’s ability to make friends was measured at 50% among practicing Christians, 43% among self-identified Christians and 54% among non-Christians. Those who were “somewhat” concerned about their children making friends included 35% of practicing Christian parents, 37% of Christian parents and 34% of non-Christian parents.

Eleven percent of practicing Christians said they were “not very” concerned about their children’s social lives, along with 13% of self-identified Christians and 9% of non-Christian parents. Seven percent of self-identified Christians were “not at all” concerned about their children’s ability to make friends, as were 4% of practicing Christians and 3% of non-Christians.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!

Sponsored

Most Popular

More In U.S.