Our general question concerns the transmission and transformation of religion and values across generations through family socialization. While there is a large body of evidence to suggest that the decline in church religiosity in the Western world is due mainly to intergenerational change, there is also a lack of detailed knowledge about how this change happens. Studies that investigate how the (non-)transmission of religion takes place across generations are, however, rare; and they are limited in terms of scope, generalizability, and even more when it comes to comparative studies.
Our previous research project, Transmission of Religion across Generations, addressed these gaps and revealed the close interconnection between inner familial dynamics and contextual factors. The current study builds on this research, which conducted a quantitative survey with 8,400 responses as well as in-depth interviews with about 100 families representing three different generations, this in five countries (Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, and Italy).
The aim of this project is to fully analyze the rich data set using a comparative and mixed methods approach, and to publish the results for a wide range of readership. Our initial analyses provide promising, expected as well as unexpected answers to our research question of passing on religions and non-religious values, which, however, need to be explored further in depth and comparatively. Moreover, first analysis has raised additional research questions. These will also be examined in the proposed project, resulting in a solid advance in knowledge in the areas under investigation.