In coordination with International Day of Families, OneHope is sharing its Spiritual State of the World’s Children research findings: the teenage “norm” has gone global — crossing cultural and religious boundaries — and family-life is still one of the biggest influences of teen behavior.
This study of the more than 152,000 13-19-year-olds in 44 countries revealed that teens with positive family experiences report more positive outcomes—less substance abuse, sexual behavior and suicidal thoughts and stronger academic drive.
“It shows some encouraging results regarding the attitudes and values of youth globally,” said OneHope President Rob Hoskins. “Parents are still considered to be the top influencers in their children’s lives.”
Positive family experience, involvement in a faith community and engagement with religious texts all contribute to positive outcomes and increased spiritual vibrancy in teens. Although all of these are important and differ by country, family is key.
OneHope is using its research to identify needs and create programs that help families experience God’s Word together. Their newest program, All Aboard!, helps bridge the gap between churches and special-needs families.
According to the CDC, 1 in 691 babies are born with Down’s syndrome and 1 in 50 have been identifies with an autism spectrum disorder. Parents may genuinely want to share God’s Word with their children, but struggle to find ways to effectively engage and communicate biblical truth to them in ways they can understand.
Through the new All Aboard! program, OneHope seeks to help these children, their families and church volunteers by presenting the truth of God’s Word in ways that children with a wide variety of special needs can understand, while also providing encouragement to the affected families.
OneHope is sharing its research for free and currently piloting All Aboard! with churches who share OneHope’s vision to reach every child in the world with the Gospel.
In 2014, OneHope reached its billionth child—a young girl in China—with a relevant Gospel message. This year OneHope will reach nearly one hundred million additional young people with Scripture programs that are age- and culturally- specific based on research it conducts among children and youth, leaders and educators in each country it works. Since 1987, OneHope has helped kids experience God’s Story by collaborating with churches and ministries—and working with local governments, schools and non-governmental organizations—