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Children who attend religious services are happier adults

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A piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"Children who attend religious services are happier adults"

https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/religion/this-life-children-who-attend-religious-services-are-happier-adults/u2Z8vkktyachtftmMpmJzL/

 

Here are a couple of key paragraphs:

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that children who were raised in a religious or spiritual environment were better protected from depression, substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

...

Tyler VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health and lead author of the study, said that with adult populations, it is the communal forms of religious participation, like religious service attendance, that are most strongly associated with subsequent mental and physical health. Private spiritual practices and prayer do not seem to have much association with subsequent health.

 

I'm highly skeptical about this study. I've certainly run into plenty of people who "were raised in a religious or spiritual environment" and were seriously screwed up. I'd sure like to know the research methods on this one. 

 

Comments?

 

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Its quite possibly true.

 

We know that having a strong community makes people happier. We also know, particularly in America, that in certain states those who are not of the same religion, or are non religious are ostracised possibly leading to less happy people. I would not be happy in the US. You cant fart there without some position saying God bless you, or some reference to God. Constant reminders that you are lost and going to hell might also tend to grate on people.

 

However in time, as non religious communities build I think you'll find people are just as happy.

 

We'd need to know a lot about their population sample, methods etc to determine whether the study is flawed or sound.

 

Hmm a related article: Why I'm Not An Atheist

 

Note this very telling paragraph.
 

Quote

 

I believe that there is one God who created all that there is in all the universe....

 

Why do I believe that? Because I need to and I’ve discovered over the years that that’s what works for me. It’s the thing that gives me joy and, on most days, no matter what I’m going through, the peace that surpasses understanding.

 

 

So this is an emotional need and probably ties into the study in the OP. This is also the reason I don't think religion is going away anytime soon. It's not a belief based on rational thought and evidence, but on a need to believe something.

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I think that is probably true, as far as staying away from drugs, alcohol, etc. However, I think the type of religious environment has a lot to do with the results of that study too. My instincts tell me kids raised in a real legalistic fundamentalist environment would tend to be less happy as adults. 

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

 My instincts tell me kids raised in a real legalistic fundamentalist environment would tend to be less happy as adults. 

Bang on. They remain happy, or as happy as possible in such as environment, as long as they don't question and push the boundaries. They are miserable if they don't have an accepting peer group in such an environment, in fact it can be extremely harmful to those isolated within fundamentalism if they feel different in any way or are bullied etc. As soon as they start to question or push boundaries, they are miserable, and remain miserable until they get out of the church. After they're out of the church, there are other repercussions like shunning and loss of community and recovering from patterns of thought that were harmful. If there are kids that are happy and protected in church, it's those that belong to the liberal "Jesus loves you" and no other beliefs really kind of religion. I am much more likely to believe that article I posted on Religious Trauma Syndrome over such a study. Any environment that pushes the "you're a sinful person and require grace" mentality from childhood can be harmful.

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     The study.

 

          mwc

 

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18 hours ago, older said:

A piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"Children who attend religious services are happier adults"

https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/religion/this-life-children-who-attend-religious-services-are-happier-adults/u2Z8vkktyachtftmMpmJzL/

 

Here are a couple of key paragraphs:

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that children who were raised in a religious or spiritual environment were better protected from depression, substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

...

Tyler VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health and lead author of the study, said that with adult populations, it is the communal forms of religious participation, like religious service attendance, that are most strongly associated with subsequent mental and physical health. Private spiritual practices and prayer do not seem to have much association with subsequent health.

 

I'm highly skeptical about this study. I've certainly run into plenty of people who "were raised in a religious or spiritual environment" and were seriously screwed up. I'd sure like to know the research methods on this one. 

 

Comments?

 

 

Ignorance is bliss. 

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@older Perhaps the best most concise answer to your OP is a quote from George Bernard Shaw that I stumbled upon randomly:

 

Believer is happier.jpg

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On 9/23/2018 at 4:18 PM, Geezer said:

My instincts tell me kids raised in a real legalistic fundamentalist environment would tend to be less happy as adults. 

 

I'll second that! I grew up under serious indoctrination. The kind that says, God spoke everything into being. That's it! Who are we to question God?

Never mind Shakespeare and other great authors,  the only knowledge I ever needed was found in the bible, I was told. I grew up in ignorance and flagrant hypocrisy. My life was fraught with fear, anxiety, depression and Religious Traumatic Syndrome as Dr. Marlene Winnell terms it.  A brain is a terrible thing to waste. I thank my brain for thinking my way out of the  God delusion.

 

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It would perhaps be accurate to say that I was happier as a Christian.  I had a community.  I had something to believe in that I didn't have to question.  It was easy for my brain -- no thinking involved (and I suppose I have a bit of a lazy streak). And, of course, I believed (to some degree, at least) that I was going to live forever. That is sure a happy thought, right? However, I was raised as a Christian and now trying to face up to truth is challenging.  Wouldn't I be happier if I had not been caught in that web of superstition in the first place? 

 

That's a question that may be difficult to answer, but what do ,you think?  Should we believe in something because it makes us happy, or should we believe in something because we have facts and evidence to support its truthfulness?  I will go for truthfulness, even when it doesn't make me particularly happy. Kudos to the person who posted the quote by George Bernard Shaw above. (Note: I clicked to "like" that entry but the number just stayed at 1.  Perhaps a moderator will check into that.)

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1 hour ago, JenniferG said:

 

I'll second that! I grew up under serious indoctrination. The kind that says, God spoke everything into being. That's it! Who are we to question God?

Never mind Shakespeare and other great authors,  the only knowledge I ever needed was found in the bible, I was told. I grew up in ignorance and flagrant hypocrisy. My life was fraught with fear, anxiety, depression and Religious Traumatic Syndrome as Dr. Marlene Winnell terms it.  A brain is a terrible thing to waste. I thank my brain for thinking my way out of the  God delusion.

 

The fact of the matter is that ex fundamentalists in particular I think continue to pay and live with the repercussions even after leaving the church, so it's not so much that religion harms children in fundamentalist churches, but it continues to play out even when they are adults, if they have family and friends who remain in the church. Social isolation, shunning, emotional abuse, all of these are manipulative methods that some fundamentalists use because they somehow think that people will "wake up" and return to the church.

A brain is indeed a terrible thing to waste. I recently came out directly to some family and told them that the main difference between myself and them is that I don't view logical thinking and using my brain as a sin, while they do. (they argue that faith is faith, not reason, and when you start to use your reason, you sin). And while I'm glad I stood up for myself, the consequence is that our relationship is quite strained, because in their eyes, I've committed the ultimate sin, and questioned god.

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On 9/23/2018 at 1:42 PM, older said:

A piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"Children who attend religious services are happier adults"

https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/religion/this-life-children-who-attend-religious-services-are-happier-adults/u2Z8vkktyachtftmMpmJzL/

 

Here are a couple of key paragraphs:

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that children who were raised in a religious or spiritual environment were better protected from depression, substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

...

Tyler VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health and lead author of the study, said that with adult populations, it is the communal forms of religious participation, like religious service attendance, that are most strongly associated with subsequent mental and physical health. Private spiritual practices and prayer do not seem to have much association with subsequent health.

 

I'm highly skeptical about this study. I've certainly run into plenty of people who "were raised in a religious or spiritual environment" and were seriously screwed up. I'd sure like to know the research methods on this one. 

 

Comments?

 

 

Except for the occasional victim of child abuse by the youth pastor, they all grew up happy.

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Church is a boredom factory, when i was a kid and forced to church, all of us in the same age group did not want to be there. 

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1 hour ago, Aries256 said:

Church is a boredom factory, when i was a kid and forced to church, all of us in the same age group did not want to be there. 

 

One of my relatives was forced to go to church but his Mother said he could quit church when he reached a certain age. He chose to leave at that age. lol. And never went back.

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13 hours ago, midniterider said:

 

One of my relatives was forced to go to church but his Mother said he could quit church when he reached a certain age. He chose to leave at that age. lol. And never went back.

I did as soon as I could, got a job that one of my work days was a Sunday. Ooooops cant go to church anymore hahahahaha. 

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As a child, I was forced to go to church on sunday, and it was not a happy time for me. Happiness came when I ditched that crap. :)

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On 9/23/2018 at 1:42 PM, older said:

Tyler VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health and lead author of the study, said that with adult populations, it is the communal forms of religious participation, like religious service attendance, that are most strongly associated with subsequent mental and physical health. Private spiritual practices and prayer do not seem to have much association with subsequent health.

 

 

I assume the regular worshipers at the Church of Satan, Muslims, Buddhists and Wiccans also reap the benefits of religious service attendance?

 

It's not really a new discovery that people enjoy hanging out with people.You might get a similar result if you surveyed people who go to raves and football games.

 

Unfortunately, some people dont like being told how to live and end up telling the church to fuck off. Some of the people I went to church with were really nice people, but I felt much happier after dismissing the remnants of a shaming religion from my life.

 

 

 

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