Latter-day Saint Life

Harvard Study Finds Teens Who Attend Church, Pray Have a Better Well-Being


A recent Harvard study shows that teens who pray or meditate and attend religious services are more likely to maintain a healthy well-being in their young adult years.

Youths who regularly attend religious services, pray or meditate may get a well-being boost that sticks around into young adulthood, according to a new Harvard study that joins a body of research showing benefits from religiosity.

Senior author and epidemiologist Tyler J. VanderWeele knows most people don't make decisions about religion based on health, but rather on beliefs, values, experiences and relationships. "However, for parents and children who already hold religious beliefs, such religious and spiritual practices could be encouraged both for their own sake as well as to promote health and well-being," said Vanderweele, a professor in Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, by VanderWeele and Harvard research scientist Ying Chen, is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Story by Lois M. Collins, Deseret News

Lead image by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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