Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 1539–1561 | Cite as

Parental Participation in Religious Services and Parent and Child Well-Being: Findings from the National Survey of America’s Families

Original Paper


Using data from the 1999 and 2002 National Survey of America’s Families, a large-scale nationally representative sample, this study finds that parental religious attendance is positively associated with parent self-rated health, parent mental well-being, positive parenting attitudes, child health, and child school engagement. Although the strength of these associations varies to some extent according to socio-demographic factors, the interactive patterns are not consistently predictable. Moreover, parental health and well-being and positive attitudes toward parenting appear to be important pathways linking parental religious attendance to child well-being. These findings suggest that opportunities for participation in local religious services offered by faith-based organizations may be fruitful avenues through which the government and society can help American families enhance parent and child well-being.


Parental participation in religious services Parental health Parenting Child well-being Adolescent development 



This research was supported by a grant to the author from the NSAF Small Grants Program funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and administered by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of UtahSalt LakeUSA

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