“… programs and religious socialization during adolescence help slow the effects of secularization in adulthood in contemporary North American society? ”
Religious groups devote major resources to ensuring continuity by inculcating their values and traditions in young people. There is scant evidence on whether the investments have worked. Certainly the rising tide of secularization casts doubt on their effectiveness. Religious leaders and educators thirst for knowledge about how to keep the faith alive.
A longitudinal study could provide some answers that are impossible to answer with cross-sectional studies that capture different individuals in each survey.
In fall 2017 the fourth phase of the longitudinal study of young Conservative Jews in the U.S. and Canada will be in the field. It began in 1995, when the respondents had just completed their bar/bat mitzvah training. The respondents were re-interviewed in high school and in college. The latest phase will interrogate them at age 35-36.
While we have obtained financing for the survey itself, we are seeking a grant for online discussions and analyses of two subgroups: respondents who are in interfaith marriages, and those who profess no religion, representing the consequences of societal transformation, secularization and porous religious boundaries.
In the dissemination phase, we will hold conferences of academics and religious leaders to discuss socialization methods that are transferable to various religious groups.