Stopping the Dropouts: Guiding Adolescents Toward a Lasting Faith Following High School Graduation

From: Volume 5, Issue 1: Spring 2008, College & Young Adult Ministry Pages 28-46


The purpose of this study was to explore the role of religion and faith in the lives of recent high school graduates and to seek better ways to prepare teenagers for faithful participation in church and religious life beyond the youth years. Finding answers to why youth drop out following high school graduation has been a persistent problem for youth and young adult leaders, church leaders, and parents for some time. Quantitative surveys were completed by 1,362 young adults aged 18-?30. Qualitative group interviews were conducted with 24 groups (n=178) including both active and non-active young adults, exploring factors involved in lifestyle, relationships, and religious participation. Active church attendance was defined as attending two or more times per month. Results indicated four domains that influenced young adult dropouts: relationships, discipleship and spiritual depth, family influence, and intergenerational influence.



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