A 2020 World Health Organization study examined the relationship between adolescents’ religious faith and worship and health-risk behavior. Researchers studied a sample of 13,377 Czech pre-teens and teenagers ages 11-15.
The results of the study were unexpected and interesting. While they found no association between levels of risky behaviors and adolescents’ religious attendance and importance of faith, they did find that participants whose fathers did not attend church were almost twice as likely to report having had sexual intercourse. This result was similar for all adolescents, whether they themselves attended religious services or not.
Further, the study found that adolescents who did not attend religious worship services but participated in church activities such as church meetings and singing in the choir, were less likely to smoke, drink, or engage in sexual intercourse.