Journal Article

Parental Divorce and Religious Involvement among Young Adults*

Jiexia Elisa Zhai, Christopher G. Ellison, Norval D. Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 68, issue 2, pages 125-144
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/68.2.125
Parental Divorce and Religious Involvement among Young Adults*

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Surprisingly few studies have explored the implications of parental divorce for the religious involvement of offspring, especially in young adulthood. Our study addresses several theoretical arguments linking parental divorce with reduced religious involvement in young adulthood and tests relevant hypotheses using data from a unique sample of 1,500 young adults (ages 18–35), evenly divided between offspring of divorce and offspring from intact nuclear families. Results show that parental divorce is associated with substantially lower self-reported religious involvement among young adults; however, there are no effects of parental divorce on non-organizational religiousness (prayer activity) or subjective religiousness (feelings of closeness to God). The link between parental divorce and religious attendance appears to be due to the lower levels of paternal (father's) involvement in childhood and adolescent religious socialization among the offspring of divorce. A number of implications of these findings a e discussed.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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