National Study of Youth and Religion
National Study of Youth and Religion National Study of Youth and Religion National Study of Youth and Religion  
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The data collection efforts of the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) provide rich data with which researchers can assess the pattern of religious affiliation, belief, practice, and commitment over time in the lives of emerging adults in the U.S. In addition, these multi-wave data allow for rigorous assessment of the causal processes in relationships between religion and other life outcomes and aspects of the lives of teens and young adults. Following is a list of some of the research using NSYR data that has been published more recently.


Longest, K.C. & C. Smith (2011). Conflicting or Compatible: Beliefs About Religion and Science Among Emerging Adults in the United States. Sociological Forum, 26(4): 846-869.

Dean, K. (2010). Almost Christian. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bobkowski, P.S. (2009). Adolescent religiosity and selective exposure to television. Journal of Media and Religion, 8, 55-70.

Johnson-Mondragón, K., ed. (2007). Pathways of Hope and Faith among Hispanic Teens: Pastoral Reflections and Strategies Inspired by the National Study of Youth and Religion. Stockton, CA: Instituto Fe y Vida.

Longest, K.C. & M.J. Shanahan (2007). Adolescent work intensity and substance use: The mediational and moderational roles of parenting. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 703-720.

Longest, K.C. & S. Vaisey (2008). Control or conviction: Religion and adolescent initiation of marijuana use. Journal of Drug Issues, 38, 689-715.

Regnerus, M.D. (2007). Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers. New York: Oxford University Press.

Schwadel, P. (2008). Poor teenagers’ religion. Sociology of Religion, 69:2, 125-149.

Uecker, J.E. (2008). Alternative schooling strategies and the religious lives of American adolescents. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 47, 563-584.

Vaisey, S. & C. Smith (2008). Catholic guilt among U.S. adolescents—A research note. Review of Religious Research, 49:4, 415-426.

The National Study of Youth and Religion is funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. The purpose of the project is to research the shape and influence of religion and spirituality in the lives of U.S. adolescents; to identify effective practices in the religious, moral and social formation of the lives of youth; to describe the extent to which youth participate in and benefit from the programs and opportunities that religious communities are offering to their youth; and to foster an informed national discussion about the influence of religion in youth's lives to encourage sustained reflection about and rethinking of our cultural and institutional practices with regard to youth and religion.

March 13, 2024

National Study of Youth and Religion

The National Study of Youth and Religion, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., is under the direction of Dr. Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and Dr. Lisa Pearce, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.