A large body of social science research has found a number of correlations between religious belief and practice and a range of aspects of marriage and family life (e.g., marital happiness, stability, parent-child cohesion, positive youth outcomes). What is much less known are the processes at work in this area.
The American Families of Faith Project is a national research project led by David Dollahite at Brigham Young University and Loren Marks at Louisiana State University. Dr. Dollahite and Dr. Marks have conducted in-depth interviews with 200 religious couples and families with adolescent children (nearly 500 individuals) from ten states all over the United States. Over half the families are from various ethnic, national, and cultural minorities. With interviews from 150 Christian families including Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Quaker, Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witness, Latter-day Saint (Mormon); 30 Jewish families (including Hasidic, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed); and 20 Muslim families (including Sunni and Shi'a). The main purpose of the American Families of Faith project is to explore the processes at work at the nexus between religiosity and family relationships that lead to these positive outcomes.
David Dollahite is Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University where he teaches classes and conducts research on the links between religion and family life.
Loren Marks holds the Kathryn Norwood and Claude Fussell Alumni Professorship in the Louisiana State University College of Human Sciences and Education where he teaches family studies classes and conducts research on family relationships.