Previous research suggests that religion can be both helpful and harmful. However, much of the research on religion and families has employed relatively simple, distal measures of religion and has predominantly focused on only one side of the dualistic nature of religion. Drawing upon interviews with 198 religious families (N = 476 individuals), the purpose of this study is to better understand how religion can have both a unifying and a dividing influence on familial relationships. Three overarching themes are presented, accompanied by supporting primary qualitative data from participants. These themes include: (1) How religious beliefs unite and divide families; (2) How religious practices unite and divide families, and (3) How religious communities unite and divide families. For the families in this study, religion was most commonly identified as a unifying influence. However, it was also identified as having a dividing influence, particularly when principles were misapplied, done in excess, or when ideas regarding religious beliefs, practices, and community, were not shared by all family members. Implications and considerations for future research are offered.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Kelley, Heather Howell, "Uniting and Dividing Influences of Religion on Familial Relationships" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7437.
religion, family relationships, qualitative, marriage, parenting