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Religious Heterogamy and Religiosity: A Comparison of Interchurch and Same-Church Individuals

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Based on a national sample of Christian couples, interchurch respondents reported lower levels of religiosity than same-church respondents on a number of religious variables. Respondents in same-church marriages were similar in religiosity regardless of whether the relationship was initially interchurch or same-church. The study did not find evidence that interchurch respondents were more likely than same-church individuals to drift away from church practice. Strength of denominational identity at engagement was the strongest predictor of religious behavior among interchurch respondents, while church attendance at engagement was the strongest predictor among same-church respondents. Interchurch respondents and their spouses were less likely to emphasize religion in raising children than same-church respondents, and were more likely to differ as a couple on their emphasis on religion in raising children. Interchurch parents predominantly raise their children exclusively in one parent's church, although 12 percent reported raising their children in both churches.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of San Diego, School of Education, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California 92110-2492., Email: 2: Creighton University, Department of Theology, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68178., Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2001


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