Retaining young catholics in the church: assessing the importance of parental example

  • Leslie J. FrancisEmail author
  • Ann Casson


Drawing on data from a survey conducted among 9,810 young people in England, Scotland, and Wales, this study examines parental and peer influence on church attendance among 2146 13- to 15-year-old students who identified themselves as Catholics. The data suggested that young Catholics who practise their Catholic identity by attending church do so largely because their parents are Catholic churchgoers. Moreover, young Catholic churchgoers are most likely to keep going if both mother and father are Catholic churchgoers. Among this age group of young Catholics both peer support and attending a church school are also significant, but account for little additional variance after taking parental churchgoing into account. The implication from these findings for a Catholic Church strategy for ministry among children and young people within England, Scotland and Wales is that it may be wise to invest in the education and formation of Catholic parents.


Catholic Churchgoing Young people Parents Peers 



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Copyright information

© Australian Catholic University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Warwick Religions & Education Research Unit, Centre for Education StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.Canterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK

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