Steeper costs in exiting new religious movements for second-generation

First- and second-generation members of new religious movements (NRMs) experience similar conflicts when they leave these groups, although the latter find it much more difficult to exit and build new lives, according to a study in the Journal of Religion & Society (Vol. 18, 2016). Most of the information on ex-members of NRMs has focused on those who joined or were recruited voluntarily, but researchers Nicole Shoenberger and Chris Grayburn look at ex-members born into these new religions through interviews and find a somewhat different pattern. Unlike their parents’ generation, breaking family ties (especially parental ones) to leave NRMs is more difficult, with many delaying such exits to avoid such a disruption. “Many also felt as though there were more struggles in finding jobs, dating and going to college,” Shoenberger and Grayburn write. But the second-generation ex-members did not show a high rate of using exit counselors (or deprogrammers), with most retaining faithfulness to a religion (if not to the movement they left).

(Journal of Religion & Society,

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