experiential immediacy, family, qualitative, religion, struggles


Qualitative family scholar Kerry Daly has called for more theory addressing understudied dimensions including religion, everyday experiences, and time. Herein we address all three of these dimensions as we empirically examine and theorize Ono relational struggles among religious families. We also explore what we term experiential immediacy–defined as the personal and temporal proximity to participant-reported lived experience. Based on qualitative analyses of in-depth interviews with 198 highly religious families (N = 476 individuals), we identified four types of relational struggles created by religious involvement: burdens, disunities, abuses, and offenses. We also offer a conceptual framework of experiential immediacy grounded in the findings and explore how personal and temporal immediacy of remembered, present, and possible experiences and quality of experience relate to relational struggles created by religious involvement. We also suggest implications for research based on our findings and concepts.

Original Publication Citation

Dollahite, D. C., Marks, L. D., & *Young, K. P. (2019). Relational struggles and experiential immediacy in religious American families. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 11, 9-21.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Psychology of Religion and Spirituality




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor