The Influences Of Latino Families And Cultures On Religion

Submitted By angelbelle052595
Words: 1984
Pages: 8

The Influences of Latino Families and Cultures on Religion

By: Carissa Topete

MAS 319


As children go from youth to adolescence, they start to get a sense of who they really are. They are able to explore and find out new things about themselves. These adolescences tend to stray away from their parents, and many decisions that used to be made for them are now made on their own. Because of this, I am interested in finding out how the religious beliefs and practices of Latino adolescence are influenced by their families and to what extent do they self-define their beliefs. When it comes to religion, especially in the Latino community, I feel as if the decisions that adolescence make on their beliefs has a lot to do with family influences. My sources will prove this argument is true by showing how family plays a huge factor in their child’s religious views and practices. The sources also explain how most adolescences begin to search for oneself and experiment with whom they are as a person, in other words searching for self-identity. When people are younger they tend to follow in their parents footsteps. They listen to what their parents say and do what they are told. Many of the decisions that they make are influenced or made by their parents. Especially when it comes to religion, many younger teens practice the same religion as their parents and attend church regularly. They practice religion more for the benefit of themselves and have their own special beliefs. “For example, data collected in the late 1980s indicate that 95% of U.S. teens aged 13 to 17 years believe in God (or a universal spirit), 80% say that religion is at least fairly important to them, 91% believe in heaven, and 76% believe in hell (Bezilla, 1993; Gallup & Bezilla, 1992; Smith, 1992).” (Wallace Jr., Forman and Caldwell) This shows that religious practices are very common in the earlier years of youth. However, as these youth become young adults they tend to stray away from the ways of their parents and discover who they are on their own. Religion becomes more of something that the child will practice to please their parents. “...although religion is often discussed and measured as an individual-level attribute, social others, especially family members, can be influential in both religious and family ideology socialization processes.” (National Council on Family Relations) As I was interviewing Pamela Cardona, I found the same situation within her family. When being asked if her parents had any influence in the way she saw religion she responded with, “Yeah, um I feel like they have a huge influence on what I do religiously. Like honestly, I don’t think I would be going to church and stuff if it wasn’t for them. My parents are pretty religious so I don’t want to let them down, and I’m not going to tell them that I don’t want to go to church or anything like that. So I do try to go when I can but most of the time it doesn’t happen. Like sometimes they would come and drive all the way up here to Austin just to take me to church. So its things like that that just make me feel bad I guess cause I feel like I’m kind of starting to lose my touch with my faith. I kind of just want to go out and explore my own things.” Family influences on religion effect not only the physical state of showing up to church and attending services regularly, but also the mental and emotional state of the person. Pamela stated that she felt bad that she was starting to lose touch with her faith. This goes to show that the major outcome of adolescence exploration and search for self-identity is that they start to do things just to please their parents. It is no longer something genuine but something to keep people happy. “I think at the point that I am now in my life, I would have to say that I’m more religious for my parents. Like I stated earlier, they’re pretty religious and I feel like I am letting them down sometimes cause I don’t go to