Marital Conflict: Better With Religion or Worse?

This post is third in a series of videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains tidbits of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advise on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and  your family live better lives.

As expressed in our mission, we are very intent on studying the family as the basic unit of society. Every department, program, and center relates in some way to that analysis. Much of what we talk about on this site has to do with it and the challenges facing the core part of most families, which is marriages. We know that married couples face a lot of challenges, ranging from addictions to everyday conflict. One of our School of Family Life professors, David Dollahite, has conducted a lot of research about some of those challenges, particularly the affect that religion has on them. In a 2015 lecture, he summarized his findings on whether or not the shared exercise of religion helps married couples avoid, respond to, or reconcile after conflict. “In a nutshell,” he said, “we found that religion has an impact at all stages of conflict. When you have a deeply-shared set of beliefs and understandings, you avoid a lot of problems off the bat.”

Watch this less-than-two-minute video discussing those findings here:

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