Research Blog #4

“Religion, infidelity, and divorce: Reexamining the effect of religious behavior on divorce among long-married couples”

In Shannon Davis and Joshua Tuttle’s journal article, “Religion, infidelity, and divorce: Reexamining the effect of religious behavior on divorce among long-married couples,” they claim to address the common mistakes of typical infidelity and divorce studies. They decided to focus on the effect of religiosity on long term marriages, something that past research usually overlooked. From a sample size (N= 763) from the panel study of Marital Instability over the Life Course, they found that religious behavior does indeed reduce the likelihood of infidelity in the marriage. Additionally, they claim that marital infidelity had no obvious effect on their likelihood of divorce. To evaluate these claims, they utilized a structural equation model through digital software. After analyzing their results, their hypotheses were generally supported. Finally, they discuss the limitation of their research, noting that religion does not necessarily prevent infidelity or divorce. In addition, they only studied couples that had been married for at least 12 years or more, which could significantly skew implications for the generalizability of this study. Another interesting factor to note is that the authors failed to disclose detailed information about the couple’s religious behaviors. For example– what religion do they practice, how long they have practiced, levels of religiosity, etc.

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