Thursday, May 17, 2007

Study: Kids from religious homes behave better?

According to sociologist John Bartkowski of Mississippi State University, comparing teachers' opinions of the behaviour of over 16000 students with parents' religiosity
children from religious homes are better behaved than kids who grow up in homes without religious influence. The study, conducted by sociologists at Mississippi State University, asked parents and teachers of more than 16,000 children to rate how much self-control the young people had and how often they exhibited poor behavior.

Now, that shouldn't be very surprising. The number of intellectual atheists in the United States (and specifically in Mississippi, for that matter) is fairly small. In that case, one suspects that children who grow up in homes without religious influence grow up in homes without much adult influence, period.

Of course, religious practice specifically introduces children to a community that expects constructive behavior - from adults as well as children. The child sees parents and friends modelling courtesy and self-control. So presumably, it doesn't all come as a huge shock when he hits school.

Yes, yes, it does take more than courtesy and self-control to win the big prizes. But many people get by surprisingly well with only the more humble virtues.

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