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Divorce Research: Baylor University Study Finds Divorce-Religion Link
("The Huffington Post," March 7, 2013)

Children of divorce with two actively religious parents are more likely to change religions or to shy away from organized religion as adults, according to a new Baylor University study.

Assistant Professor of Sociology Jeremy Uecker, who led the study, attributes this to the fact that children lose exposure to a second religious parent as a result of the divorce.

The findings -- which were published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion -- showed that adults who lived with just one parent during their formative years are more than twice as likely to disaffiliate than those who grew up with continuously married parents. Uecker notes, however, that being a child of divorce in and of itself is not as significant a factor in determining one's religious beliefs as previous research has indicated.

"These associations...are overstated because prior studies have not taken into account the religious commitments of both parents prior to divorce," Uecker told HuffPost Divorce in an email. "Because parents from different religious traditions and with differing levels of religious service attendance are more likely to divorce, and because having these types of parents is associated with lower religiosity later in life, it could be that we’ve been attributing the effect of parental religious differences to parental divorce."

Another reason divorce may shake kids' faith? According to Uecker, some kids of divorce may have believed that their parents' marriage was ordained by God.

"When it ends, that could rock their world and have lasting effects," he said in a press release.

The findings were based on surveys given to 3,346 children of divorce, ranging in age from 18 to 87 in the years 1991, 1998 and 2008.

Click through the slideshow below for 10 more interesting divorce-related research findings of the last year.


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