Thursday, June 15, 2017

Family Formation and Close Social Ties Within Religious Congregations

Family Formation and Close Social Ties Within Religious Congregations. By Benjamin Gurrentz
Journal of Marriage and Family,

Abstract: The study of family and religion has yet to elaborate on the social ties that connect these two important and changing institutions. Specifically, how does family formation (i.e., marriage and childrearing) impact social ties to religious communities? Using longitudinal data from the Portraits of American Life Study (2006–2012) and fixed effects regression models that control for time-stable heterogeneity (N = 1,314), this study tests the effects of marriage and childrearing on changes in close congregational social ties. Fixed effects estimates suggest that marriage actually decreases close social ties to religious congregations, whereas rearing children within marital unions increases them. Thus, it is children, not marriage per se, that actually integrates married couples into religious communities. These contrasting effects tend to be the strongest among young adults, but they weaken with age as well as marital duration.

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