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Reciprocal Effects of Religiosity, Cohabitation, and Marriage

Arland Thornton, William G. Axinn and Daniel H. Hill
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 98, No. 3 (Nov., 1992), pp. 628-651
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2781460
Page Count: 24
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Reciprocal Effects of Religiosity, Cohabitation, and Marriage
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Abstract

This article formulates and tests theoretical hypotheses of the reciprocal causal relationships between the formation of cohabiting and marital unions and religious commitment and participation. The article uses data from a panel study of mothers and children to show that the religiosity of both mothers and children influences the cohabiting and marital behavior of children, with those from less religious families having higher rates of entering intimate coresidential unions and a tendency to substitute cohabitation and marriage. Analyses of the reciprocal influences of cohabitation and marriage on religiosity indicate that cohabitation decreases religiosity, while marriage leads to increased religious participation.

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