The role of religion in adolescence for family formation in young adulthood

David Eggebeen, Jeffrey Dew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This paper examines the role of religion in adolescence for shaping subsequent family formation. Data were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 13,895). We explored the role of three dimensions of religious life - affiliation, attendance, and religious fervor - both singly and in combination for the transition to either marriage or cohabitation. Although each dimension predicted subsequent union formation, it was the particular combination of these dimensions that was important for understanding the likelihood of cohabiting. We also found evidence that patterns of religious identity, attendance, and fervor in adolescence were associated with the length of cohabitation, the likelihood of the cohabitation ending in marriage, and beliefs about the purpose of cohabitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-121
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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