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About 93 percent of youth understand that life is more than material, Search Institute’s Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence said in its soon-to-be-updated 2008 report on global spirituality.

It’s “expressed differently,” but there’s a broad consensus that being human means there’s a spiritual life, Eugene Roehlkepartain, co-director of the center, told the Heritage conference.

The Search Institute study of more than 7,000 youths in eight countries also upholds the family-faith connection. When asked “Who helps you most in your spiritual life?” the young people’s No. 1 answer is “family.”

It’s not just a bromide. There really is no place like home.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at