Family relationships, religion, parenthood


A growing body of empirical research demonstrates that a family’s religious involvement directly benefits adults, children and youth in many ways. Divorce rates are lower and marital satisfaction and quality scores highest among religiously involved couples. Religious practices are linked with family satisfaction, closer father-child relationships, and closer parent-child relationships. There is less domestic violence among more religious couples and religious parents are less likely to abuse or yell at their children. Religious involvement promotes involved and responsible fathering and is associated with more involved mothering. Greater religiosity in parents and youth is associated with a variety of protective factors for adolescents. Rigorous meta-analyses conducted by scholars in various disciplines and examining populations from several different religious traditions have demonstrated that many of the salutary mental, physical, and marital correlations between religiosity and well-being are quite robust and not attributable merely to selection effects or explained away by socio-demographic factors.

Original Publication Citation

Dollahite, D. C. (2005). How a family’s religious involvement benefits children and youth. Sutherland Journal of Law and Public Policy, November). No doi

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Sutherland Journal of Law and Public Policy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor