Husband-wife religious denomination homogamy and marital satisfaction over time: The moderating role of religious intensity

Woosang Hwang, Ayse Duygu Cakirsoy-Aslan, Maria Teresa Brown, Merril D Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the extent to which husband-wife religious denomination homogamy and heterogamy are associated with initial levels and slopes of marital satisfaction over 17 years, and whether those associations are moderated by husbands’ and wives’ religious intensity. Background: Longitudinal studies on religion and marital outcomes that incorporate a dyadic component are relatively rare, and few studies have examined couple-level religiosity with respect to long-term marital outcomes. Method: Based on six waves of the Longitudinal Study of Generations data between 1988 and 2005, we selected 173 married couples in the baby-boom generation and analyzed it using dyadic growth curve modeling. Results: Husbands’ and wives’ religious denomination homogamy was significantly associated with initial levels and slopes in marital satisfaction of both husbands and wives. In addition, husbands with highly religious wives with the same denomination as them exhibited greater initial levels of marital satisfaction than those who had weaker religious intensity wives with a different denomination. Conclusion: Denominational similarity between spouses is not only beneficial to marital satisfaction but is also paired with the degree of religious intensity. Implication: Family researchers and practitioners are encouraged to acknowledge the characteristics of couples’ religious contexts and their influences on marital outcomes over the family life course.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


  • religious denomination
  • religious intensity
  • marital satisfaction
  • Longitudinal Study of Generations


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