Children Of Divorce Less Likely To Go To Church On Sunday

By  | 

divorce effects on kidsJust another thing for divorced parents everywhere to feel guilty about. A new study shows that children in religious families whose parents get divorced are twice as likely to drop their religious affiliation as adults than children who’s parents stayed together.

“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.”

The study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion shows that children may be come disillusioned with a religion that teaches the sanctity of marriage when that marriage falls apart:

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.

Uecker doesn’t specify which faiths in particular were used in the study. Just that divorce did have an effect of the child’s future relationship with religion when both parents were deemed religious.

Maybe it is just that the parents who got divorced weren’t all that religious to begin with and in turn caused their children to have less of an inclination to stay active in their religion as they get older. Whatever the case it seems that another effect of divorce may be a few more empty seats in the pews on Sunday.

(photo: carlosgardel / Shutterstock)