Husband–Wife Religious Denomination Homogamy and Marital Satisfaction Over Time: The Moderating Role of Religious Intensity

Woosang Hwang, Ayse Duygu Cakirsoy-Aslan, Maria T. Brown, Merril Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study examines the extent to which homogamy and heterogamy in husband–wife religious denomination are associated with initial levels of marital satisfaction and slopes of marital satisfaction over 17 years examining 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: On the basis of 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 their musing dyadic growth curve modeling. Results: Husbands' and wives' religious denomination homogamy was significantly associated with initial levels and slopes of both husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction. In addition, husbands with highly religious wives of the same denomination exhibited greater initial levels of marital satisfaction than those who had wives of weaker religious intensity with a different denomination. Conclusion: In this research, denominational similarity between spouses was not only beneficial to marital satisfaction but was 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. Because the LSOG couples represent mostly White and underrepresented families from other ethnicities, there should be caution in generalizing these findings to the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Relations
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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