Sanctification, Stress, and Marital Quality


  • Department of Sociology, 1 University Station A1700, University of Texas–Austin, Austin, TX 78712-0118 (

  • Department of Sociology, The University of Texas–Austin, Austin, TX 78712.

  • Department of Sociology, 1032 West Sheridan Road, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60660.

Department of Sociology, University of Texas–San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249.


This article contributes to recent work investigating the role of religious sanctification, that is, the process via which one's spouse or marital relationship is perceived as having divine character or sacred significance. We outline a series of theoretical arguments linking marital sanctification with specific aspects of marital quality. A recent probability sample of Texas adults is used to gauge the links between general religiousness, marital sanctification, and marital quality and functioning. Key findings include the following: (1) General religiousness bears a weak link with marital outcomes; (2) sanctification strongly predicts desirable marital outcomes; and (3) sanctification appears to buffer the deleterious effects of financial and general stress on marital quality. Study limitations and practical implications are discussed, and promising directions for future research are identified.