In their National Study of Youth and Religion, Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen studied a sample of young people for five years, starting when they were 13 to 17 years old and completing the study when they were 18 to 23, a stage called “emerging adulthood.” As illustrated in this infographic, part of the focus was on Catholic emerging adults. As illustrated, the authors found discouraging numbers for young Catholics staying in the faith as they grew up.
Christian Smith is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, Director of the Notre Dame Center for Social Research, Principal Investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion, and Principal Investigator of the Science of Generosity Initiative. Kyle Longest is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University. Jonathan Hill is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Calvin College. Kari Christoffersen is a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame. They are co-authors of Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church.