What are the differences between children raised by religious parents and those which are raised in non-religious homes in terms of social and psychological development? Religion can be one of the most controversial subjects for children to discuss as they get older, according to a recent study. Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Alamo Colleges District have recently published an article called “Mixed Blessing Assessing the Institutional Research and Effectiveness of the Alamo Colleges District. In Religions, Henry C. Wright published an article entitled “The Benefits and Detriments of Religious Tolerance on Children’s Development.”. In order to complete the study, the team analyzed the data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS)-Kindergarten Cohort. Using a nationally representative sample of third-grade students, they examined the effects of parent attendance at church as well as the religious environment in the household (frequency of parent-child discussions and spousal conflicts over religion). In addition to psychological adjustment, interpersonal skills, problem behaviors, and standardized test scores (reading, math, and science), the evaluations also considered the children’s socialization. According to the researchers, spiritual factors had a positive impact on the psychological adjustment and social competence of third-graders. The students’ performance on reading, math, and science tests was negatively influenced by several forms of parental religious involvement.

Parental religiosity appears to be a mixed blessing for third-graders, providing significant gains in social development but also potentially affecting their academic performance, particularly in the science and math disciplines. In her words, “Religion emphasizes moral codes that can be used to instill in children important values such as self-control and social competence.”. The research supports the idea that religious groups’ emphasis on soft skills might come at the expense of academic performance for youngsters living in religious households. This study builds on a previous study by Bartkowski and colleagues. Published in 2008, that study was the first to analyze child development using national data. According to that study, religion was positively associated with psychological adjustment and social competence among children in elementary school (kindergarten). In addition, Bartkowski discovered that religious harmony among couples and communication between parents and their children were linked to positive development traits, while religious conflict among spouses was associated with spoke of the many ways a person can pursue well-rounded development, and religion is only one of them. Religion occupies an important place in a village if it takes a village to raise a child. Although, it is an example of a system that doesn’t foster positive development pathways He argued that religious education can be best served by other community resources such as academically oriented school clubs and activities. One notable limitation of the study noted by Bartkowski was also pointed out. The balance between soft skills development and academic excellence may be better for some religious groups than for Bartkowski explains that since our data set does not ask about denominational affiliations, “we cannot determine if children from religious backgrounds such as Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Muslim or other faith groups are especially likely to strike the delicate balance between personal growth and academic excellence.” It would be advantageous to conduct further research to determine whether some religious groups offer a more balanced approach to both interpersonal skill development and academic ability. One of the main findings of this new study is that religion is a major influence, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, on how children navigate their way through grade school.