Children that are raised in a religious atmosphere during their formative years will usually go in one of three directions as they grow up. Either they’ll continue to follow the tenets of whatever denomination in which they were raised, they’ll look to explore alternative options or they’ll simply reject the concept of praying to a higher being completely.
For those who maintain a steady relationship with their particular religion, continued faith or a willingness to continue pleasing parents by regularly attending religious services can serve as the basis for their choice. Some cases that psychoanalyst Patrick Mahony has seen result in the children taking their passion far beyond the scope of what they were taught. In some cases, this can be seen by other family members as rewarding, yet some can use it as a cudgel to negatively affect the lives of others.
Individuals who end up sampling what other religions have to offer either remain unfulfilled within their current status or are conflicted with the overall approach of the religious leaders that they follow. Patrick Mahony knows that some cases of this type are related to interfaith marriages in which either the wife or husband finds a greater connection with their partner’s religion. This can stem from the past disinterest on the part of parents to pass on their religious faith.
The final component focuses on those who end up walking away from any religion, usually because of fervent parents who drastically over-emphasize the importance of church attendance or due to hypocrisies that surface. In the former case, individuals often want to purge memories of mandatory adherence. The latter segment was most prominently recently seen with Catholics who rejected the teachings of the church based on their approach toward cases of sexual abuse from priests.