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Religiosity, Marital Quality and Couple Generativity in Italian Couples Belonging to a Catholic Spiritual Association: A Quali-Quantitative Study

Abstract

The current studies aimed, firstly, at exploring the relationship between the level of religiosity and marital outcomes, in terms of relationship quality and couple generativity; secondly, at gaining insight into which strategies the couples use to ensure their marital quality/couple generativity, and understanding if religious practices have a positive influence on the development of such strategies. The studies focused on a specific aspect of religiosity, that is the active involvement in a Catholic association, and compared couples with a high level of religious involvement (HRI) belonging to a Catholic international association (New Families) and couples with a low level of religious involvement (LRI). Study 1 (N = 194) adopted a quantitative approach and analyzed data from questionnaires administered in two phases. Study 2 (N = 32) adopted a qualitative approach (grounded theory) and analyzed data from semi-structured interviews. Results of Study 1 showed that HRI men scored higher in relationship quality and couple generativity than LRI men, while HRI women scored higher in couple generativity than LRI women. In Study 2, no differences were found between HRI and LRI couples with respect to the factors that ensure marital quality and generativity (care of the relationship, dialogue, sharing, maintenance of the centrality of the relationship), but HRI and LRI couples used different strategies to achieve these goals.

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Notes

  1. Prenuptial courses are normally held by councils or parishes and aim to provide couples with information that should help them in preparation for their marriage. For Catholic couples that intend to get married in church, these courses are compulsory.

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Correspondence to Miriam Parise.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Parise, M., Gatti, F. & Iafrate, R. Religiosity, Marital Quality and Couple Generativity in Italian Couples Belonging to a Catholic Spiritual Association: A Quali-Quantitative Study. J Relig Health 56, 1856–1869 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-016-0346-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-016-0346-0

Keywords

  • Marital quality
  • Couple generativity
  • Religiosity
  • Couple relationship
  • Catholic association