Participation in Religious Services and Parental and Child Well-Being of Low Income Families: Evidence from the 1999 and 2002 National Survey of America’s Families
Ming Wen, University of Utah
Using data from the 1999 and 2002 National Survey of America’s Families (NSAF), I examined how parents’ participation in religious services was associated with several aspects of parents’ and children’s well-being for low-income families. Six dependent variables were tested in this study, including parental self-rated health, parental mental health, aggravation in parenting, parent-rated child health, parent-rated limiting heath condition and child's engagement in school. Weighted OLS regression models were fit to examine the research questions, taking into account the complex design of the NSAF. Preliminary results show that parental participation in religious services is significantly and positively associated with every single measure of parental and children’s well-being. Child participation in extra-curricular activities seems a plausible mediator linking parental participation in religious services to child well-being in low-income families. Interaction effects of parental participation in religious services with demographic variables were also tested and reported. Policy implications were briefly discussed.
Presented in Session 35: Demographic Perspectives on Religion