Does Religion Create or Address Anxiety in Your Family? Research Says…

This post is second in a series based on videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains highlights of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advise on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

As we mentioned last week, the exercise of religious faith in a family’s culture looks quite different across religions, families, and time. “What is it about religion that helps some people be incredibly…functional and happy and seems to cause other people some serious issues?,” asked Professor David Dollahite of our School of Family Life in an October 2015 lecture. “How can [the practice of religion cause joy and harm?” Professor Dollahite has spent the last ten years delving into research that answers those questions for the American Families of Faith project, and he presented much of it at that lecture. He and fellow BYU Family Life professor Loren Marks sampled more than 190 families who identified with the following faiths: Asian Christian, Black Christian, Catholic & Orthodox Christian, Evangelical Christian, Mainline Christian, Latter-day Saint Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. They asked them how they felt about ten different “dualities,” or possible dichotomies of their religious practice. They asked, for example, about the extent to which the practice of religion in their families created and addressed anxiety, and the extent to which that practice was both transformative and conservative. In this two-minute video, watch what they found.

 

Talking Religion With Your Child: Should it be Child-Centered or Parent-Centered?

This post is the first in a series based on videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains highlights of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advise on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

The question of the prominence of faith in a family’s culture is a very personal one, and the evidence of the answer to that question can look quite different across religions, families, and time. But some things are universal. All families have parents or guardians who love and/or care for children, and by virtue of their experiences or age or parental position, strongly hope to influence, if not determine, their progeny’s religious behaviors. Most do it through multiple conversations and activities throughout the formative lives of their children. How effective those conversations are can depend on a lot of different factors. David Dollahite, a professor of Family Life who has conducted much research on the topic and advises parents to make sure those conversations are “child-centered.” What exactly does that mean? Watch this short video to find out: