LDS teens tops in living faith
New study ranks U.S. adolescents on how religion affects their lives
have ever smoked pot (15 percent);
drink alcohol a few times a year (10 percent);
watched an X-rated or pornographic program in the past year (15 percent).
"LDS affiliation and practice tends to have a protective effect," says Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociology professor who is also a Mormon. "It probably has to do with daily religious training through high school. . . . Daily engagement with people of their own faith, that's an amazing corrective to tip the balance toward a parental role model instead of a peer role model."
"Religion is a tool, almost a compass if you will," says Bartkowski, who is now researching a book that focuses solely on Mormon teens. "Every youth will have a compass, it just depends on what direction it points."
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