How Religiosity Helps Couples Prevent, Resolve, and Overcome Marital Conflict*


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    We express appreciation to the Family Studies Center, Religious Studies Center, and College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences at Brigham Young University for research support.

**Nathaniel M. Lambert is a research assistant at Florida State University 1929 E. Sunny Glen Circle, Sandy, UT 84093 (

David C. Dollahite is a Professor and Associate Director in the School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2054 Joseph F. Smith Building, Provo, UT 84602 (


Abstract: This study reports on in-depth interviews with 57 highly religious, middle-aged married couples representing the major Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) residing in New England and Northern California. The study uses grounded theory methods to create themes and a model describing the ways that religiosity influences marital conflict. Couples reported that religiosity affects the conflict in their marriage at three phases of the conflict process: (a) problem prevention, (b) conflict resolution, and (c) relationship reconciliation. Practitioners may assist religious couples that are struggling with marital conflict by encouraging them to look to religious beliefs and practices.