Journal Article

Parental Religiosity, Religious Homogamy, and Young Children's Well-Being

Richard J. Petts

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 72, issue 4, pages 389-414
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srr021
Parental Religiosity, Religious Homogamy, and Young Children's Well-Being

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Using longitudinal data on fragile families, this study examines the relationships between parents’ religiosity, religious homogamy, and young children's well-being, and whether these relationships vary by family structure. Results suggest that weekly service attendance by both parents is associated with lower externalizing problem behavior among young children. Results also suggest that being raised by a mother who believes that religion is important to family life is associated with higher well-being among young children raised by married parents. In contrast, having only one parent who believes religion is important to family life is associated with lower well-being among children raised in cohabiting or single-parent families. Moreover, having parents with strict religious beliefs is associated with increased internalizing problem behavior, but is also associated with a decrease in externalizing problem behavior for children raised by cohabiting parents. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of the role of religion within fragile families, as well as the role that religion may play in early child development.

Keywords: children; family; well-being

Journal Article.  9038 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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