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Youths, religion linked to higher self-esteem

SHARE Youths, religion linked to higher self-esteem

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Eighth-graders who participate in religious activities have higher self-esteem than those who do not, said a study reported at an American Psychological Association convention.

A 1999 survey of 1,261 youths, conducted by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, was analyzed by Yong Dai and Rebecca Nolan of Louisiana State University and Qing Zeng of Wells College.

The results may indicate religious institutions teach youths how to have positive images of themselves, the authors said, and that younger teens' closeness with their families reinforces religious involvement.

The study also found black females were more likely than white females to evaluate themselves positively, while white males had higher self-esteem than black males.