Mental disorder among nonreligious adolescents


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study is the first of its kind to investigate mental disorder among nonreligious adolescents. In this paper, we report three main findings based on data from the National Comorbidity Survey of Adolescents. First, nonreligious adolescents on average have higher rates of mental disorder than adolescents who identify as religious. Second, there is variability in rates of mental disorder among the three types of nonreligious adolescents, with atheists/agnostics experiencing the highest rates, followed by those with no religion, and those with no religious preference. Indeed, after controlling for a host of sociodemographic characteristics, adolescents with no preference have levels of mental disorder that do not differ from the religiously affiliated. Third, the mental health disadvantage of nonreligiosity is strongest among nonreligious adolescents with two highly religious parents. Their rates of mental illness are almost twice that of religious adolescents raised in religious households. Moreover, neither nonreligious nor religious adolescents are negatively affected by being raised in nonreligious households.

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