Emerging adult private prayer : a habit developed across time.
Private prayer frequency is a measure that helps researchers assess a spiritual habit that is developed across time. Using longitudinal data collected from the National Study of Youth and Religion, I analyze the extent to which secularization, existential security, and religious socialization play a role in the private prayer frequency of emerging adults. My analysis shows that emerging adults’ private prayer behaviors are shaped by their social location and their religious socialization. Being a woman, having parents whose religion is important to them, having parents who pray for you, and believing in an engaged prayer target are all significantly associated with increased private prayer as an emerging adult. Higher parental income is associated with lower levels of private prayer as an emerging adult. I suggest further research that looks at other elements of the prayer experience and the religious institutional forces that lead women to pray more than men.