less than 1 minute read


From the earliest stages of birth through adolescence, religion can play a role in providing a framework for a child's life and world view. A strong religious background can help children and adults individually and together answer life's most significant questions, respond to difficult challenges, and make important decisions. Religion conveys a sense of the sacred or holy, often reflected in views of a god. Each religion consists of rituals, symbols, stories, values, and role models, which guide and shape a child's ways of being and acting in the world. Parents draw upon these different elements in passing on a religious tradition to their children, often sharing the responsibility for educating their children with a religious school and a religious institution such as a church, synagogue, or mosque.


Fowler, James W. Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.

Goodman, Roberta Louis. "Faith Development: A Jewish View." In Audrey Friedman Marcus and Raymond Zwerin eds., The New Jewish Teachers Handbook. Denver: ARE Publishers, 1994.

Roberta Louis Goodman

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 6