Article of the Week

The Strengths and Challenges of Contemporary Marriages of Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Monday, May 25, 2020

The Strengths and Challenges of Contemporary Marriages of Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Research indicates that religious adherence leads to a higher quality of marriage and family life: greater physical and mental health, positive psychological outcomes in adolescence, transformation in marital relationships, reduced anxiety, marital stability, reduced domestic violence, and greater father involvement.

We explored whether adherents to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with its particularly strong relational focus, might have unique patterns in their romantic relationships. We found that highly religious Latter-day Saints were much less likely to cohabit, become involved sexually before marriage, and marry outside of the faith. They were also more likely to hold positive relational values, experience higher levels of relational and sexual quality, and relationship stability than adherents to other Christian faiths and to the nonreligious. However, we also found that Latter-day Saints who struggled to adhere to their religion were more vulnerable to relationship distress and poorer outcomes than those from other religions. We propose that Church members receive support for distressed relationships in practical, nonjudgmental ways.