Children pray at "significant moments"
Research for a PhD at the Australian Catholic University has found that children use prayer to aid them in life even if they are not religious.
The Sun-Herald reported yesterday that Dr Vivienne Mountain, a chaplain at Firbank Grammar School in Brighton, Victoria, interviewed 60 children aged 10 to 12 from six schools for her PhD on children's spirituality. Two were secular schools and the rest were religious - a mix of Islamic, Jewish and Christian.
She found that prayer was used at significant moments in children's lives.
"Common for all of them was that when things were tough, that was one thing you could do," Dr Mountain said.
She said prayer should be considered an activity with psychological importance and be recognised as a coping mechanism.
Dr Mountain said there are theories that the idea of God, or of a higher being, is innate in humans from birth and that it is society that pushes that idea, and therefore the idea of praying to that being, out of them.
Children counting on prayer (The Sun-Herald 7/11/04)
Dr Vivienne Mountain: Children at Prayer (ABC Radio The Spirit of Things 26/9/04)
Australian Catholic University: List of postgraduate research students related to the School of Religious Education
Firbank Grmmar Shool | Counsellors/Chaplain
8 Nov 2004