Research Shows Religion Leads to Better Mental Health in Youth

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A recent study shows that those who embrace religion and have a connection with God are happier and have better mental health than those who do not, according to Faithwire. In an interview with Faithwire, Dr. Josh Packard, the executive director of Springtide Research Institute, shared his findings that teens and young adults between the ages of 13 and 25 who have a connection to faith through prayer or simply believing in God are more likely to flourish than those who have not embraced religion. 

Packard explained that while data shows institutional connections regarding a religious affiliation or attending church are down, indicators from his research show that youth still have and pursue a connection to faith. Packard shared that evidence suggests that many young people are not necessarily atheists as they are very interested in their meaning on earth and seek some form of spirituality. While negative influences such as tarot card reading is present in society, the study shows that many turn to God in their lives for help and guidance. 


Packard’s research also pointed to the correlation between having faith and flourishing in life, showing that those who have a relationship with God are more likely to have better mental health and success in other areas of their lives. Packard explained that there are three factors to maintaining positive mental health as it is sought from a religious institution which includes creating a sense of belonging, giving youth the right tools and expectations, and having a connection to something bigger than themselves which gives them the purpose. 

While there will always be ups and downs in life, says Packard, it is important that youth have the tools they need to keep moving forward and maintain a positive focus. Packard’s study suggests that through religion and having a lifestyle that depends on faith makes a notable difference in the lives and mental health of youth today. In this digital age of virtual connections, having a connection to something solid and constant is part of what makes faith an effective tool itself in dealing with life’s experiences. 


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