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Parental Divorce and Religious Involvement among Young Adults

Jiexia Elisa Zhai, Christopher G. Ellison, Norval D. Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt
Sociology of Religion
Vol. 68, No. 2 (Summer, 2007), pp. 125-144
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20453140
Page Count: 20
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Parental Divorce and Religious Involvement among Young Adults
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Abstract

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 are discussed.

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