International research on confirmation work

Researcher: Erika Willander, Ph.D.  (Church of Sweden's Unit for Analysis)

Funding: Research position in sociology at Church of Sweden’s Unit for Analysis

Project description: Lead by Professor Friedrich Schweitzer and his research team at the University of Tübingen, confirmation preparation has been evaluated in two waves. The first wave conducted in 2007-2008 surveyed the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of both the confirmation candidates and their leaders at the beginning and the end of confirmation preparation. The second wave was a follow up study with the same design conducted in 2012-2013. In the second wave young people and leaders from nine European countries were included (e.g. Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland). The second wave will also be extended and the confirmation candidates attitudes, beliefs and experiences will be followed up 2-3 years after confirmation. Data for this is collected during the autumn 2015. Within this project, my research focus has been on describing the Swedish case in comparison to the general tendencies in Europe. Compared with other projects on youth and Christianity conducted in the Nordic countries, this project emphasizes changes in religious beliefs. The project is therefore expected to contribute with knowledge about what Christian teenagers believe.