Happily Ever After?: Religion, Gender, and Relationship Quality among Fragile and Married Families
Nicholas H. Wolfinger, University of Utah
W. Bradford Wilcox, University of Virginia
In recent years, the number of fragile families has risen markedly in urban America. Nevertheless, no research has yet determined if religious participation is associated with higher levels of relationship quality and lower levels of domestic violence among parents in fragile families. Research on religion and married parents indicates that religious participation is associated with higher levels of relationship quality and lower levels of domestic violence. But because religious institutions tend to stigmatize nonmarital unions, religion may not be associated with better relationship outcomes for parents in fragile families. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study seeks to determine if the association between religious participation and three relationship outcomes (emotional support, domestic violence, and a global measure of relationship quality) for urban parents varies by the marital status of those parents. Preliminary analyzes indicate that religious participation is more consequential for married parents—especially married fathers.
Presented in Session 170: Measuring Religious Influence