Intergenerational Affectual Solidarity in Biological and Step Relations: The Moderating Role of Religious Similarity

Maria Teresa Brown, Woosang Hwang, Joonsik Yoon, Merril D Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To examine whether intergenerational religious concordance moderates the gap in affectual solidarity between adult children and their biological versus stepparents over an 11‐year period. Previous studies have examined the impact of religion on intergenerational relations in intact, nondivorced families. However, few researchers have explored similar questions regarding the impact of religion on intergenerational relations in stepfamilies. Using latent growth curve models, we assessed concordance–discordance in religious affiliation, religious attendance, and religious intensity. Data derived from four waves of the Longitudinal Study of Generations between 1994 and 2005 consisting of 238 mother–child dyads and 148 father–child dyads, each group consisting of both biological and step relations. Over the period studied, children had consistently lower affectual solidarity with their stepmothers and stepfathers than with their biological mothers and fathers. Tests of interactions revealed that parent–child concordance in religious affiliation, but not in religious attendance or religious intensity, was associated with a smaller difference in affectual solidarity at baseline and over time between children and their steppparents versus biological parents. Parent–child religious affiliation concordance was more closely associated with an increasing intergenerational affectual solidarity in biological parent–child relations than in stepparent–child relations. Differences in religious practice or beliefs need not be a major point of intervention for helping professionals working to avert or bridge cross‐generational rifts or insider–outsider challenges in stepfamilies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Relations
Volume68
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2019

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