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J Fam Psychol. 2001 Dec;15(4):559-96.

Religion in the home in the 1980s and 1990s: a meta-analytic review and conceptual analysis of links between religion, marriage, and parenting.

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Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403-0228, USA.


The authors reviewed 94 studies published in journals since 1980 on religion and marital or parental functioning. Meta-analytic techniques were used to quantify religion-family associations examined in at least 3 studies. Greater religiousness appeared to decrease the risk of divorce and facilitate marital functioning, but the effects were small. Greater Christian conservatism was modestly associated with greater endorsement and use of corporal punishment with preadolescents. Isolated findings suggested that greater parental religiousness relates to more positive parenting and better child adjustment. The scope, meaningfulness, and potential strength of findings were restricted because of reliance on global or single-item measures of religious and family domains. To facilitate more conceptually and methodologically sophisticated research, the authors delineated mechanisms by which the substantive and psychosocial elements of religion could benefit or harm family adjustment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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