Title page for ETD etd-05182010-121431

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Jorgensen, Bryce LeRoy
Author's Email Address bljorge@vt.edu
URN etd-05182010-121431
Title The Influence of Religious Beliefs and Practices on Marital Commitment, Parent-Child Closeness, and Family Involvement
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mancini, Jay A. Committee Chair
Arditti, Joyce A. Committee Member
Blieszner, Rosemary Committee Member
Piercy, Fred P. Committee Member
Savla, Jyoti S. Committee Member
  • religiosity
  • spirituality
  • family strengths
  • marital commitment
  • family involvement
  • parent-child closeness
Date of Defense 2010-05-10
Availability restricted
Strong families are built on positive relationships among husbands, wives, and children, and can be positively or negatively impacted by a variety of factors. This study focuses on the influence of religiosity on family strengths, particularly as it affects marital commitment, relationships between parents and children, and family involvement. Using Flourishing Families Project (FFP) data (N=305 couples) and a theoretical framework derived from Dollahite and Marks, Mahoney and colleagues, and Stinnett and DeFrain, I examined the ways in which a parent’s religious beliefs and religious practices support or hinder family relationships. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used to examine the intrapersonal and interspousal relationships among religious beliefs, religious practices, marital commitment, parent-child closeness, and family involvement. Results suggest that religious beliefs and practices are equivocal and are associated with higher and lower marital commitment, parent-child closeness, and family involvement for both husbands and wives. Significantly, this research demonstrated that husbands and wives differed through both intrapersonal and interspousal pathways. These results provide important insight into the ways religiosity is associated with family strengths and provides additional handles for researchers and practitioners interested in strengthening families.
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