Religion and marital dependency
Data from the National Survey of Families and Households are used to determine the impact of religion on marital dependency - the extent to which either spouse believes his or her life would be worse should the marriage end. Spouses belonging to denominations attaching greater value to marriage and marital stability should report greater dependency, as would those who are more involved in the life of the church and those who are married to a spouse of the same denomination. An index of marital dependency is constructed. Religious affiliation increases the likelihood of marital dependency, as does membership in more conservative Protestant denominations and quasi-ethnic religious groups. Church attendance, self-identification as a Fundamentalist and marital homogamy all increase marital dependence. The effect of marital homogamy is stronger among Fundamentalists, even with controls imposed for secular variables, such as labor-force participation, and when the reciprocal effect of the spouse's attitude toward the marriage is taken into account. © Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1996.
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