Religion and the Everyday Ritual of Home Life: A Comparison of Higher and Lower Family Functioning Groups
As scholarly interest in family religiosity has grown, scholars have called for a closer look at proximal measures of religiosity that are more connected to the individual and familial daily experience (Mahoney et al., 1999). The purpose of this paper is to explore in detail how religion and family religious rituals relate to, interface with, and affect the day-to-day activity of family life. It includes qualitative analysis of interviews with highly religious parents and children in 67 families that belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Grounded theory was employed to analyze the data and a conceptual model was developed to illustrate how this particular sample experienced religious integration. Findings suggest that for this sample, religion was more than an external influence; it was viewed as an integral part of one's individual, familial, structural, and social systems. This finding challenges traditional human ecological theory which suggests that religion is merely an external influence. Findings also indicate that religious rituals were viewed as being an important part of everyday life for the majority of this sample. Despite challenges of religious rituals, participants indicated that they experienced positive individual and familial outcomes when participating in family religious rituals. No negative outcomes were reported. Comparative analysis between participants in the higher and lower overall family functioning groups suggests that religious ritual properties and perceptions differed for these two groups. Those in the higher family functioning group mentioned more frequently that religious rituals were an enjoyable part of family life while those in the lower family functioning group mentioned more frequently they were motivated by a sense of duty to participate in these rituals. Other differences between these two groups are discussed. Though this sample allowed for a thick description of one particular culture to be produced, findings from this study cannot be generalized beyond highly religious LDS families. Despite limitations, the overwhelming perception that religious integration and religious rituals enhanced individual and family life has potentially far reaching implications. These findings should be strongly considered and applied to future research, clinical practice, and family life education.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Loser, Rachel Wadsworth, "Religion and the Everyday Ritual of Home Life: A Comparison of Higher and Lower Family Functioning Groups" (2007). Theses and Dissertations. 891.
religion, ritual, routine, worship, family, integration, Mormons