Good news! A paper that I worked on with my colleague, Heather Kugelmass, has just been published online with the journal Mental Health, Religion and Culture. If you don't have access to this journal, just shoot me an e-mail.
Heather and I used the National Comorbidity Survey of Adolescents--the gold standard for questions of mental health in the United States--and took a look at their group of nonreligious adolescents to see how their mental health compares with their religious counterparts. In all, we came up with three main findings:
First, atheist adolescents overall have the worst mental health, followed by those with "no religion" and thsoe who identified as having "no religious preference."
Second, religious kids with religious parents have the same mental health as nonreligious kids with nonreligious parents.
And finally, the clincher: the worst mental health is among nonreligious adolescents with religious parents. Turns out that there is something there, a clash of sorts, that really affects mental health. In addition, it shows that the benefits of religious participation for mental health may not, in the end, spill over to nonreligious adolescents.
Both Heather and I are really excited about seeing this study finally get out! It will be in the print edition of the journal at some point in the coming months.