Barna Study Finds That Mothers Contribute More to Children’s Spiritual Growth Than Fathers in American Christian Homes

Mother and daughter reading the Bible together.

Mothers are more often credited with driving spiritual development in American Christian homes than fathers, according to a new report by the Barna Group.

In research created in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries, Barna released a report on Tuesday stating that “spiritual development in the home is driven by mothers.”

When surveying practicing Christians, Barna found that 68% of respondents said it was their mother’s faith that influenced them, versus 46% for fathers.

After that, 37% of respondents reported that it was their grandparents who influenced their faith development, 16% reported a non-relative, and 14% reported it being a friend.

The study also found that most respondents (59%) said they were Christian as an adult because a member of their household “passed their faith down to me.”

Twenty-three percent of respondents said they were Christian in spite of bad experiences with Christianity in their upbringing, 15% said their adult beliefs were not influenced by their household growing up, 11% said “someone explored faith at the same time I did” and 2% said “other.”

Data for the report came from an online survey conducted April 5–11, 2018, with 2,347 interviews conducted with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points.

While the Barna report notes a stronger influence by mothers than fathers on the spiritual development of the respondents, other research indicates that fathers hold a strong influence on the religious practices of their children.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski