Transitioning to Adulthood: The Role of Supportive Relationships and Regular Religious Involvement

Research BriefFamiliesMay 1 2014

Prior research has suggested that supportive connections and religious involvement promote positive outcomes in children and adolescents. Little is known, however, about whether these promotive factors exert an influence beyond adolescence into adulthood. The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term implications of supportive relationships and religious involvement, by assessing whether young adults who reported having positive relationships with their parents, teachers, or friends or who reported weekly religious involvement when they were adolescents were more likely to later have lower-risk transitions to adulthood relative to young adults who had not reported these positive social connections as adolescents, even taking sociodemographic background and negative childhood experiences into account. Thirteen years of data from Waves I to IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health, N=11,530) were analyzed to predict the likelihood that study participants were positioned to make a healthy transition to adulthood by their mid/late twenties and early thirties.