Attitudes About Covenant Marriage and Divorce: Policy Implications From a Three‐State Comparison


divorce, family, marriage, policy


We report research on public opinions about covenant marriage and divorce to inform policy analysts of the social climate in which these legal initiatives are taking place. We collected data via telephone surveys from a sample of 1,324 adults in Louisiana, Arizona, and Minnesota. From these data, we draw four implications for policy: policy efforts designed to strengthen marriage and reduce divorce, such as covenant marriage, may be popular in states with people who generally have more conservative gender‐role ideologies and who are religiously active; individuals who hold conservative gender‐role ideologies and who are religiously active are more likely to choose covenant marriage for themselves; legislation dealing with specific components of covenant marriage is likely to be more popular in many states than legislation offering the full set of measures; and these legislative efforts generally will not be divisive along sociodemographic lines.

Original Publication Citation

Hawkins, A. J., Nock, S. L., & Wilson, J. C., Sanchez, L., & Wright, J. (2002). Attitudes about covenant marriage and divorce: Policy implications from a three-state comparison. Family Relations, 51, 166-175.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Family Relations




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor