×
Study finds prayer aids relationships
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
August 12, 2010

Study finds prayer aids relationships

Study finds prayer aids relationships
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
August 12, 2010

The old

adage “couples who pray together stay together” may be true, especially for

African-Americans, a new study shows.

The survey

of religion, race and relationships found that African-Americans attend church

more as couples compared to members of other racial and ethnic groups.

Four in 10

African-American respondents said they attended services regularly as a couple,

according to a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Marriage and

Family. In comparison, 31 percent of Mexicans or Mexican-Americans, and 29

percent of whites, said they regularly shared a pew.

“Without

prayer, black couples would be doing significantly worse than white couples,”

said W. Bradford Wilcox, a co-author of the study and the director of the

National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. “The vitality of

African-Americans’ religious lives gives them an advantage over other Americans

when it comes to relationships. This advantage puts them on par with other

couples.”

In

addition to worshipping together, African-Americans were found to be more

likely than non-Hispanic whites to participate in prayer and Scripture studies

at home.

In

general, researchers found that people in same-faith relationships and partners

who attended services regularly were more satisfied with their relationship.

But

scholars said religion may not always help couples. Those with divergent

religious beliefs and worship attendance tend to not be as happy about their

relationships.

The study,

which was based on responses to the 2006 National Survey of Religion and Family

Life, does have limitations, scholars cautioned. For example, the responses to

the survey came from one partner’s report on the quality of their relationship

and the extent of their religious involvement.