Are Religious Teens Nice Kids? Faith and Congeniality among American Adolescents
One body of extant research has documented the social contours and positive effects of teen religiosity, while another has explored the religious sources of social congeniality (“niceness”) among adult Americans. This study integrates these parallel bodies of scholarship by examining the religious bases of niceness among American teens. Using post-hoc interviewer ratings from wave 1 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we examine the degree to which religious teens are perceived more positively than their nonreligious peers. Associations linked to six dimensions of teen religiosity are considered. Select facets of teen religiosity are associated with more positive interviewer ratings, particularly for interpersonal warmth, thereby providing modest support for hypothesized patterns. Findings are interpreted in light of current theories of religious involvement, interpersonal dispositions, and social competencies.