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Shared Rituals

Study Finds Shared Religious Holiday Rituals Increases Marital Satisfaction

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On December 9, 2001, the Public Affairs Office of the American Psychological Association (APA) announced the findings of a study on religious holiday rituals were to be published in the December, 2001 issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

"Couples that participate in and find meaning in religious holiday rituals such as decorating the home for the holidays or lighting candles may be making their marriages stronger. That's according to a new study which finds that couples were more satisfied with their marriages when they found meaning in shared religious holiday rituals."

Psychologists Barbara H. Fiese, Ph.D., and Thomas J. Tomcho, Ph.D., of Syracuse University interviewed 120 couples who had been married for an average of nine years with at least one pre-school child. They questioned couples about their family rituals and about the relative importance of religion in their families as they were growing up and in their current family.

Through a 32-item questionnaire, marital satisfaction was assessed. Some of the questions were "Do you confide in your mate?" and "How often do you laugh together?"

Source: APA Press Releases

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