Does faith reduce divorce risk?

Mar 23, 2018 by

By Glenn Stanton, Public Discourse.

Many Christians believe that the divorce rate among believers is on a par with that of the unbelieving world. That’s simply not true—particularly for those who take their faith seriously in both belief and practice. The best research from sociology’s leading scholars has established this fact time and again over the last few decades.

Most recently, research conducted at Harvard’s School of Public Health reveals that regularly attending church services together reduces a couple’s risk of divorce by a remarkable 47 percent. Many studies, they report, have similar results ranging from 30 to 50 percent reduction in divorce risk. Happily, this holds largely true for white, black, Asian and Latino couples.

Research conducted at Bowling Green State University, a major center for ground-breaking family-formation research, affirms this conclusion. A leader in this field, Professor Annette Mahoney of Bowling Green’s Spirituality and Psychology Research Team, reports from her decades-long research that a couple’s spiritual intimacy and church participation is “very, very important and undeniably a construct that matters” greatly in boosting marital happiness and longevity. Additional research conducted by Mahoney and her team demonstrates that marriages are stronger and happier when the husband and wife understand the deeper spiritual significance of marriage. These findings have remained consistent over many decades and across socio-economic differences. The Bowling Green team notes:

Three recent longitudinal studies tied higher religious attendance, particularly by couples who attend the same denomination together, to decreased rates of future divorce. These results imply that great depth of integration in a spiritual community can help prevent divorce.

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