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Soul SearchingThe Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers$
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Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195180954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019518095X.001.0001

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On Catholic Teens

On Catholic Teens

(p.193) 6 On Catholic Teens
Soul Searching

Christian Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Melinda Lundquist Denton

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the question of why U.S. Catholic teenagers seem less religiously engaged than their teenage counterparts in other U.S. Christian traditions. Several reasons were identified to explain the lack of religious engagement of Catholic teens. One is that Catholic teenagers significantly reflect the relative religious laxity of their parents. Thus, the evident “problem” of Catholic teens can be viewed in part as a larger challenge of Catholic adults generally, and parents specifically.

Keywords:   Catholics, American teenagers, teens, adolescents, Christians, religion, religious life, spirituality, parents, religious laxity

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