Religious intermarriage and conversion in the United States: Patterns and changes over time

Linda J. Waite, Alisa C. Lewin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The United States is a religious nation. The vast majority of Americans, when asked, profess a belief in God and affirm that religion is at least "fairly important" in their lives (Myers 2000, 285); about three-fifths of the population reports membership in a religious organization and 45 percent state that they attend religious services at least monthly (Sherkat and Ellison 1999). Almost all established religions encourage marriage and parenthood, and provide both guidance and support in these key tasks of adulthood. So it is no surprise that married adults and parents of school-age children are more likely to belong to and participate in religious organizations than are those who are not married. Indeed, a good deal of religious practice and religious observance takes place within the family or jointly with family members. Parents may take their children to church, say grace at meals, or prayers at bedtime. Spouses may attend services together or pray together at home (Schmidt 2005).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion, Families, and Health
Subtitle of host publicationPopulation-Based Research in the United States
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780813547183
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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