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Religious Homogamy, Marital Conflict, and Stability in Same-Faith and Interfaith Jewish Marriages

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Abstract:

This study examined the relationship between a couple’s similarity in religious beliefs and practices and their level of marital conflict and stability. One-hundred-fifty-five adult children of same-faith and interfaith Jewish marriages reported on each of their parents’ religious beliefs and behaviors. Religious homogamy was defined as similar attitudes and beliefs about specific religious practices. The parents’ level of marital conflict was obtained by having their adult children fill out the Children’s Perception Questionnaire (Emery and O’Leary 1982). The major hypotheses tested were that a positive correlation would exist between religious homogamy and marital stability and this relationship would be mediated by the level of marital conflict. That is to say, as marital conflict increases, marital stability should decrease. It was expected that these correlations would still hold after controlling for religious denomination (same-faith and interfaith). Partial support for the model was found: more disagreement on Jewish issues predicted higher levels of marital conflict. Higher conflict, in turn, predicted less marital stability.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0021-8294.00087

Affiliations: University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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