Religion and the Family: Why Do Religious Affiliation and Religiosity Matter?
Evelyn Lehrer, University of Illinois at Chicago
A large body of literature documents that religion has important effects on various aspects of the economic and demographic behavior of individuals and families, including education, employment, fertility, cohabitation and marriage, union dissolution, and health. Until now, these various relationships have not been put together in a coherent framework. This paper seeks to develop such a framework, synthesizing the theoretical and empirical research to date, identifying the mechanisms though which religious affiliation and religiosity have an impact on individuals and families, and outlining an agenda for the research that is needed to fill the existing gaps in our knowledge.