Does religion count? Religiousness and family life among Hungarian high school students

Eszter Kovács, Bettina F. Piko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Positive family functioning and good parent-child relationship are a key factor in healthy adaptation during adolescence. A number of studies confirm a link between religious involvement* and a variety of family outcomes, among others, marital duration and satisfaction, authoritative parenting practices; the religious effects on families are typically positive. Religious family members may cultivate values emphasizing love, care, and forgiveness. Socialization in the family plays an important role in internalizing these values. Religion and spirituality, however, has changed and gotten a new meaning recently. In every person's life a demand appears for spirituality and rituals. The question is how people treat this phenomenon in their everyday life. Because of the effects of secularization the previous dominance of religion declined and new waves of religious movements were established. Our aim is to have an outline of what religion means for today's youth and what opportunities of religious behavior they can choose in a post-socialist country like Hungary. Furthermore, we would like to understand how religiousness as a main field in the value system may provide security and guidelines for life; and the way how these may be connected to healthy adaptation in the family. The present study (N=881; 44.6 females; mean age 16.6 years) reports on Hungarian high school students' religious denominations, their religiousness and religious attendance with attention put on their sociodemographic background. We attempt to reveal the connection between religiousness and parental variables, namely, respect of parental values, parental control and monitoring and social support from parents. Results suggest that youth's level of religiousness was rather low: 41% of them presented themselves 'not religious at all'. Others mentioned several denominations from traditional churches to the 'new age' groups like Buddhist or Followers of White Magic. The level of religious activity was also low: 49.8% of them chose the response 'never' for the frequency of going to church. Respect of parental values, parental control and monitoring and perceived social support scores were higher among more religious and more religiously active high school students. As a conclusion we can argue that it would be important for youth to participate more in the religious field because it helps with healthy familial adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFamily Life
Subtitle of host publicationRoles, Bonds and Impact
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781616686307
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Kovács, E., & Piko, B. F. (2011). Does religion count? Religiousness and family life among Hungarian high school students. In Family Life: Roles, Bonds and Impact (pp. 139-155). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..