The Trend of Youth’s Religious Conviction (or lack thereof)

In Chavez’s chapter 4, the author explains that “religious involvement in youth is one of the best predictors of religious involvement in adulthood, so trends in the extent to which people grow up in religiously active households foreshadow future trends in involvement” (p. 49). The author gives examples of how the emerging generation live in increasingly less religious households, and are increasingly less active in church than any the generations before. One suggestion the author makes as to why this is the case is that the traditional “family” (two parents and children) is less prevalent in modern America as there are more divorced, separated or single parents, or never married people with no children. This is relevant because married people who have children are twice more likely to attend church services than those who are not married or do not have children. This raises questions of the correlation between family structures and religious involvement in many ways. For one, do people who don’t live a conventional family life feel less inclined to achieve the “perfect” and socially desired life that involves going to church? Or perhaps do people who have children but are divorced spend more time working to provide for themselves and the child, thus not having as much time to attend religious services? Do failed marriages or lack of children make one feel an absence of love, which could translate into an absence of a god? As a millennial who has seen the separation of religious conviction and involvement between my generation and the baby-boomers, I wonder what the religious landscape of America will look like when my generation are mid-aged and have children of their own. I also wonder if there is a shift in religious involvement in the future, how will this affect social norms, political stances, or even the economy?