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