Enhancing marital happiness: the effects of religious attendance on infidelity, religious congruence, and spousal supportiveness

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Family & Consumer Studies
Author Williams, Alta Jeppson
Title Enhancing marital happiness: the effects of religious attendance on infidelity, religious congruence, and spousal supportiveness
Date 2010
Description Ninety percent of Americans marry at least once in their lifetime; 40-50% of first marriages are dissolved. Divorce affects not only the lives of each spouse but the lives of children as well. It is important to study characteristics that improve marital satisfaction, as unhappy marriages may end in divorce. Attending religious services can increase marital happiness. Cross-sectional data from the 2006 National Study of Religion and Family Life are analyzed via logistic regression to explore why religious attendance, frequency and with whom, increases marital happiness. My research examines four possibilities which are taught in religious services that increase marital happiness: (1) no adultery, (2) improved spousal supportiveness, (3) sharing religious core values, and (4) participating in religious activities in the home or family prayer. First, religious attendance affects marital happiness by reducing the risk of infidelity. When couples attend church frequently, several times a week or more, infidelity rates decline. Second, marital happiness is increased when spouses demonstrate frequent supportive behaviors, such as showing love, not criticizing, giving complements, helping around the home, and performing small acts of kindness. Church attendance can improve spousal supportiveness. Third, marital happiness is enhanced when spouses concur on basic religious ideals. Agreement on core values results in less conflict and more unity. Fourth, participating in family prayer and/or religious activities in the home provide opportunities for bonding, improved communication, and religious goal setting. Religious congruence, measured by sharing core values and practicing religious rituals at home, increases marital happiness. Findings show spousal supportiveness and religious congruence, which are promoted through religious attendance, are significant predictors of marital happiness. Parishioners who take religious doctrines and principles taught at church and apply them in their lives are more likely to be happy in marriage.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Infidelity; Marital happiness; Religiosity; Religious attendance; Social networks; Spousal supportiveness
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Alta Jeppson Williams
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 245,865 bytes
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; HQ5.5 2010 .W55
ARK ark:/87278/s60z7hts
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 192673
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60z7hts
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