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Marriage And Religiousness Essay

1962 words - 8 pages

Mahoney, Pargament, Tarakeshwar, and Swank (2001) mentioned that many married people in the United States feel that religion and spirituality is essential parts of their everyday lives. There have been research on what role religious faith plays in marital functioning, but this area has been overlooked by marital researchers in psychology in the past (Baucom, 2001). This probably has to do partly with psychologists tend to be less religious than the most people in general, as well as religion being an overall sensitive subject. Regardless of the reasons why research has been few and far between in the past, the data and results that are available indicate that religion may very well have a significant role in marriage. The majority of research that has been conducted in the area of religious devotion and marriage show that there is a positive influence on the couple relationship.
According to the research done by Heaton (1984) and Wilson& Musick (1996), religious affiliated couples that regularly attended church scored higher in marital satisfaction levels when compared to those couples that had less or no religious affiliation. Brown, Orbuch, & Bauermeister (2008) found that these couples were less likely to divorce, as well. Research also indicates that marriages with similar religious beliefs are generally more stable than marriages with differing religious beliefs. But even with all these past studies showing a positive correlation of religiousness on marriage satisfaction, when examined on what exactly it is about religion that has this effect on married couples there are mixed results. This may be because it is difficult to take into account other factors that may act on the marriage, like the conceptual aspect of religion as well as the emotional and moral aspect of religion as well as individual and relationship factors all together. If there are many things going on, it can be difficult to interpret the results as well as draw conclusions on what factor(s) relates to what outcome(s) or what interacting factors contribute or influence what results. Therefore it may be helpful to do more research on the relationships of religious belief on marital satisfaction, whether religion influences overall satisfaction in marriage directly or if it is an indirect result of religious faith’s influence on emotional intimacy. This issue was addressed in the study conducted by Hatch, R. C., James, D. E., & Schumm, W. R. (1986), by examining if emotional intimacy was a possible variable that was influencing one or both spiritual intimacy and marital satisfaction. This study focused on two questions: “Does spiritual intimacy influence the family directly (for the most part) of does it influence the family indirectly through particular intervening variables?” and “Does spiritual intimacy operate primarily through individual family members or does its impact occur primarily as a joint effect?” The conclusion that was drawn through this study for the first...

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