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Perceived Spousal Religiosity and Marital Quality Across Racial and Ethnic Groups

Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


The relationship between the perceived religiosity of one's spouse and marital quality varies across racial and ethnic groups (i.e., Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and non‐Hispanic Whites) in the United States. In this study, data were drawn from a nationally representative sample of married Americans (N = 1,162). Although perceived spousal religiosity predicted higher marital quality across all racial and ethnic groups, this effect was stronger for Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics than for Whites. Compared to Whites, the 3 racial and ethnic minority groups experienced a larger boost in frequency of expressive forms of love as perceived spousal religiosity increased. This effect was also found regarding marital satisfaction for Asians and Blacks relative to Whites, but not for Hispanics. Moreover, although racial and ethnic minorities tended to report lower marital quality than Whites at low levels of perceived spousal religiosity, their marital quality tended to be higher than Whites at high levels of perceived spousal religiosity. Three‐way interactions indicated that these trends hold regardless of gender.