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Churches Should Focus on Children of 'Good Divorce,' Study Suggests

Adults raised in divorce more than half as likely to attend religious services compared to those raised in happy marriages.

A new study suggests that children raised in divorce–even "good" divorces–are less likely to attend religious services and express interest in God than children raised in happy marriages.

Observers say this implies the future health of churches could depend on getting non-traditional family ministries right.

The report, titled "Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?", is comprised of papers from family and religious studies experts who together declare "that today's grown children of divorce form a 'broken leading edge' of the trend of more Americans considering themselves 'spiritual but not religious.'"

Researchers found that adults raised by happily married parents were "more than twice as likely to attend religious services, compared to those raised in good divorces." Such adults were also less likely to report negative experiences of God.

"Children of divorce [have] spiritual stories quite often characterized by loss or suffering," report co-author Amy Ziettlow wrote in an article for ...

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