Teens, Young Adults Of Faith Less Stressed, Study Finds

May 31, 2024

A study published in 2024 by Young Life’s The RELATEProject found that teens and young adults who were raised with faith report less stress than their secular counterparts.

The survey of more than 7,000 young people (aged 13 through 24) from around the world found that most desire “authentic relationships” with “no fuss and nothing formal.” The findings seem to come in response to growing up in a world with extreme digital access.

“When teens can’t understand or cope with these feelings, they can develop anxiety, self-doubt, loneliness, or unhealthy coping behaviors,” the study described. “That’s why it’s so important for them to have adults in their lives who will lean in during this period and help them navigate unfamiliar territory.”

Stress And Finding Balance

Roughly a third of the respondents described a “struggle to balance full schedules, societal expectations, personal goals, and lots of relationships,” particularly those in the U.S. and U.K. But faith helps. (LEARN MORE: NFL Star Goes Viral For Pro-America, Pro-Women Speech)

“Growing up with religion or faith can mitigate stress; teens with these upbringings report less stress overall,” the study noted. “So it may be helpful to guide teens toward faith resources. Maybe they’ve drifted away somewhat; maybe they’re going to the internet instead of prayer.” And respondents were far more likely to turn to friends and family for support with a personal problem than they were the Internet.

The Search For Community

“In our research, we repeatedly saw the theme of Gen Z wanting to be in the community and appreciating invitations to do so,” Young Life director of research Kimberly Nollan said of the findings. “Sharing a meal together opens the door to expressing to someone that they are valued and loved, and it sets the scene to listen, ask questions, and build intentional relationships. We often overthink building relationships with Gen Z, but it can be as simple as inviting them to do life with you. Whether it’s extending an invitation to dinner on a weeknight, coming with you and your kids to the park, grabbing a smoothie after a sports game, or running errands together, they want to know they’re welcome, valued, and cared about, and that they belong.” (LEARN MORE: Retired NFL Legend Says ‘There’s Really No Argument’ Supporting Men In Women’s Sports)

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