Albania's Crown Prince Leka II walks with his wife Elia Zaharia after their wedding ceremony in Tirana, Albania, Saturday Oct. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

Turns Out Attending Church Can Have a Big Impact on Your Risk of Divorce, Depression and Death

With survey trends showing strong adherence to faith seemingly on a collective decline in America, there’s some data about church attendance that people might want to pay close attention to.

Research from experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has yielded data indicating that attendance at religious services is associated with less risk for divorce, depression and death. Thus, there seems to be an intricate tie between church attendance and overall good health and well-being.

As for divorce, past research has found that married couples who attend religious services are between 30 to 50 percent less likely to get divorced than those who don’t attend. And Tyler J. VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, recently wrote a piece for the Family Studies blog stating that, in his research, “those who attended religious services were 47 percent less likely to subsequently divorce.”

“Our study consisted only of women, but other studies have looked at both men and women, and the results are once again similar,” VanderWeele wrote. “Our study also focused on middle-aged and older women, but again, other studies have examined younger men and women with similar results.”

He continued, “The effects of religious attendance on divorce seem to be fairly widely applicable.”

VanderWeele then pondered the reasons why attending religious services appears helpful in preventing divorce, presenting the “logical possibilities” that he said should be investigated further, including the idea that religion tends to elevate marriage as a “sacred bond” — an idea that churches reinforce.


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