Donna St. George writing for THE WASHINGTON POST http://www.washingtonpost.com discussed "what is described as the first major look at relationship quality and religion across racial and ethnic lines, researchers report a significant link between relationship satisfaction and religious factors for whites, Hispanics and African Americans.
"The article went on to say, the study appears in this month’s issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
According to St. George, the study found that 40 percent of blacks in marriages and live-in relationships who attended religious services regularly had a partner who did the same, compared with 29 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 29 percent of Hispanics.
The story went on to say, "White couples, in general, reported greater relationship satisfaction than other groups, presumably because of income and educational advantages, the study says. But the racial gap lessens when religious similarities come into the mix."
"What this study suggests is that religion is one of the key factors narrowing the racial divide in relationship quality in the United States," Wilcox told THE WASHINGTON POST.
The strongest difference-maker for couples was spiritual activities such as praying or reading the Bible at home. "Praying together as a couple is something that is very intimate for people who are religious," Wilcox told THE WASHINGTON POST "It adds another level of closeness to a relationship."
St. George went on to report the study shows that religion did not have positive effects for all.
According to St.George writing for THE WASHINGTON POST,two nonreligious partners are more content together than partners with different practices, the study says.
"When couples do things together — whether it’s bird-watching, playing tennis or attending church — they tend to do better," Wilcox told THE WASHINGTON POST. and "when they don’t share these activities, particularly when they are important, couples are more likely to suffer."
The story went on to say that experts such as Frank Fincham, director of the Family Institute at Florida State University, question whether the "active ingredient" that leads some couples to report greater satisfaction is really faith-based.
St. George pointed out Fincham suggests maybe it’s not religion but something else about the people who embrace it, or some other activity that couples do together.
The study’s results are based on a recent analysis of a 2006 U.S. survey of 1,387 adults ages 18 to 59. Nearly 90 percent were married, and the others were living together.
Jackie O’Neal is the author of Woman Priest: A Collection of Spiritual Reflections And Commentary.