The influence of religion in adolescence on adolescents’ attitude toward marital timing

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Redford, Kristen Lee

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Existing research identified strong links between religion and marriage behaviors, but few sources have evaluated the effect of religion on marital attitudes. This study sought to examine the relationship between adolescent religious affiliation and religiosity and the age at which adolescents wish to marry. Using the National Study of Youth and Religion, results showed that Christian adolescents in America wish to marry sooner at statistically significant levels than non-Christian adolescents, and that within Christian denominations, Evangelical Protestant and Mormon adolescents wish to marry sooner than Mainline Protestants. Religiosity had a less statistically significant effect on the marital timing attitude than religious affiliation, challenging findings of some of the existing literature. A reciprocal relationship was also examined to see if being married at younger ages predicted placement in certain religious affiliations and a change in religiosity. This study contributes to existing literature on the relationship between religion and marriage and family by shedding light on effectiveness of the transmission of family values affirmed by Christian denominations to their adolescent members. These findings help better understand the increase in the age of first marriage, as fewer adolescents and young adults claim a religious affiliation, reducing the number of people that want to get married at younger ages.




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