March 13, 2013
Children of Divorce More Likely To Leave Religion? It's Not That Simple, Study Says
New research from Baylor says other factors have greater effect on future beliefs.
New research from professors at Baylor University suggests prior studies purporting to show a link between divorce and children's religiosity as adults may be overstated.
The link may exist, says Baylor assistant professor of sociology Jeremy Uecker, but previous research has left out or downplayed key factors that may be more relevant to an individual's faith experience than the role of divorce itself.
According to Baylor, the link between divorce and religion mainly occurs because children of divorced parents are more likely to be "separated from one of their parents, and parents are usually considered the primary source of religious training for children."
But other factors within the church itself, such as stigmatizing a single mother or the "logistical difficulty" of attending, may cause a child of divorce to resent or drift away from God.
CT previously has reported on the topic of divorce and how it impacts children when parents split. CT also noted the release of a study emphasizing the important role of ministry to non-traditional families.