Religious Parents' Divorce May Cause Children to Leave the Church
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2013 Mar 06
A new study has found that the children of religious couples are much more likely to leave the religion if their parents get divorced.
The study, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, found that children who had two religious parents who get divorced are twice as likely to become estranged from their church as adults compared to people whose parents didn't get divorced.
"When both parents are religious, the effect of divorce has a negative effect on religiosity," says Jeremy Uecker, a professor at Baylor University and lead author of the study. "They might think their parents' marriage was ordained by God or something and that breakup can have more of an effect on their religiousness in adulthood."
Uecker says the effect of divorce on a child's future religious beliefs was seen across all religions. In the future, he hopes to study why children of divorced parents seem more likely to be less religious.
Source: U.S. News & World Report