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NSYR Wave 3 Funded: Following Youth into Emerging Adulthood

The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) is pleased to announce that preparations are underway for a third wave of data collection. The Lilly Endowment Inc. recently approved funding for Wave 3 of the NSYR. The Principal Investigator of Wave 1 & 2, Dr. Christian Smith, is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director for the Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. The third wave of the study will be administered through the Center for the Study of Religion at Notre Dame with continued cooperation from the Carolina Population Center and the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Beginning in 2008, the NSYR will conduct telephone surveys and face-to-face interviews with the same teenagers that were surveyed and interviewed in the first and second waves of the research project. Wave 3 of the NSYR begins January 2007 and will run through December 2010.

The $1,096,631 Wave 3 NSYR grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will be combined with a $99,750 grant from the John Templeton Foundation and research support money from the University of Notre Dame to complete this phase of work. The third wave of data collection will continue and expand upon the work done in the initial two waves of research. All three waves of research have the following goals: (1) to investigate the shape and influence of religion and spirituality in the lives of U.S. adolescents, (2) to identify effective practices in the religious, moral, and social formation of the lives of youth, (3) to describe the extent to which youth participate in and benefit from the programs and opportunities that religious communities are offering to their youth, (4) to foster an informed national discussion about the influence of religion in youth's lives, and (5) to encourage sustained reflection about and rethinking of our cultural and institutional practices with regard to youth and religion. Wave 3 will build upon the two previous waves of data, seeking to re-survey all of the 3,370 youth who participated in the original NSYR telephone survey and to conduct another wave of in-depth face-to-face interviews with a subsample of these adolescents. At the start of Wave 1, respondents were between the ages of 13 and 17, meaning they will be between 18 and 24 when re-interviewed in Wave 3.

A third wave of data will be valuable for working to understand causal relationships between religion and other dimensions of life, as well as for exploring how religious beliefs and activities change over time, especially as teenagers move into emerging adulthood. Given the highly dynamic and developmentally important events of adolescence, longitudinal data collection is especially essential in youth research. This third wave of data will seek to understand the religious and spiritual lives of the "emerging adults," which the teenagers will have become by the time of the next wave. "Transforming the cross-sectional NSYR Wave I data into a panel study that follows our national youth sample on their journey into emerging adulthood will take an already invaluable study to a new level of significance and usefulness," says Dr. Christian Smith. He adds, "Multi-wave, longitudinal surveys provide uniquely suited data for better understanding the causal effects of religion in social life, because they enable us to study the effects of factors measured in one wave on diverse outcomes in following waves."

Continue to visit the National Study of Youth and Religion website (www.youthandreligion.org) for more information on Wave 3 of the NSYR.

11-20-06

The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) is pleased to announce that preparations are underway for a third wave of data collection. The Lilly Endowment Inc. recently approved funding for Wave 3 of the NSYR. The Principal Investigator of Wave 1 & 2, Dr. Christian Smith, is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director for the Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. The third wave of the study will be administered through the Center for the Study of Religion at Notre Dame with continued cooperation from the Carolina Population Center and the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Beginning in 2008, the NSYR will conduct telephone surveys and face-to-face interviews with the same teenagers that were surveyed and interviewed in the first and second waves of the research project. Wave 3 of the NSYR begins January 2007 and will run through December 2010. The $1,096,631 Wave 3 NSYR grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will be combined with a $99,750 grant from the John Templeton Foundation and research support money from the University of Notre Dame to complete this phase of work. The third wave of data collection will continue and expand upon the work done in the initial two waves of research. All three waves of research have the following goals: (1) to investigate the shape and influence of religion and spirituality in the lives of U.S. adolescents, (2) to identify effective practices in the religious, moral, and social formation of the lives of youth, (3) to describe the extent to which youth participate in and benefit from the programs and opportunities that religious communities are offering to their youth, (4) to foster an informed national discussion about the influence of religion in youth's lives, and (5) to encourage sustained reflection about and rethinking of our cultural and institutional practices with regard to youth and religion. Wave 3 will build upon the two previous waves of data, seeking to re-survey all of the 3,370 youth who participated in the original NSYR telephone survey and to conduct another wave of in-depth face-to-face interviews with a subsample of these adolescents. At the start of Wave 1, respondents were between the ages of 13 and 17, meaning they will be between 18 and 24 when re-interviewed in Wave 3. A third wave of data will be valuable for working to understand causal relationships between religion and other dimensions of life, as well as for exploring how religious beliefs and activities change over time, especially as teenagers move into emerging adulthood. Given the highly dynamic and developmentally important events of adolescence, longitudinal data collection is especially essential in youth research. This third wave of data will seek to understand the religious and spiritual lives of the "emerging adults," which the teenagers will have become by the time of the next wave. "Transforming the cross-sectional NSYR Wave I data into a panel study that follows our national youth sample on their journey into emerging adulthood will take an already invaluable study to a new level of significance and usefulness," says Dr. Christian Smith. He adds, "Multi-wave, longitudinal surveys provide uniquely suited data for better understanding the causal effects of religion in social life, because they enable us to study the effects of factors measured in one wave on diverse outcomes in following waves." Continue to visit the National Study of Youth and Religion website (www.youthandreligion.org) for more information on Wave 3 of the NSYR.
National Study of Youth and Religion


The National Study of Youth and Religion, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., is under the direction of Dr. Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and Dr. Lisa Pearce, Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.