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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52451
Doc. No:TL22405
Call number:‭3356841‬
Main Entry:Kimberly C. Loewen
Title & Author:An exploratory study of religious conversion motivated by marriage: Adult attachment style and the marital relationshipKimberly C. Loewen
College:Alliant International University, San Diego
Date:2009
Degree:Psy.D.
student score:2009
Page No:143
Abstract:Most people in the United States report that religion and spirituality play an integral role in their romantic relationships. Thus far, research conducted on the role religion plays in marital relationships has primarily focused on the effects partners practicing different religions has on marital satisfaction and stability. There has been little research on how the marital relationship is affected by one partner converting to the religion practiced by his or her spouse. Due to the lack of extensive research in this area, this investigator proposed a preliminary study exploring the experiences of individuals who converted for marriage. Specifically, the goal was to explore adult attachment style patterns of converters and their experiences of marital satisfaction following conversion. These aspects of converters' experiences were investigated through two questionnaires and a qualitative semi-structured interview. Questionnaires included the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R) to measure attachment style patterns and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) to measure marital satisfaction. In order to qualify for the study, participants must have chosen to convert to the religion practiced by their spouse before marriage or within the first year of marriage. Participants must have been married for a minimum of 2 years and still be married to the spouse for whom they converted. Conversion was defined as having made a conscious decision to join one's spouse's religious community and subsequently adapting the beliefs of this community. Nine participants, 3 male and 6 female, were interviewed for the current study. Two converted to Judaism, two converted to Catholicism, one converted to Mormonism, one converted to the Bah'ai faith, one converted to Islam, one converted to Protestantism, and one converted to Christian. Nine participants were interviewed based on when saturation occurred, when no new information was being gained from interviews. Results from the ECR-R indicated that people who convert display secure attachment patterns. Whether the secure attachment patterns cause conversion, or whether they are the result of conversion was a point of discussion. Results from the DAS indicated that converters experienced high levels of marital satisfaction. This was supported by participants' answers to interview questions, which revealed that most people who converted were happy with their decision and felt that their conversion had enhanced their marital relationship. Interviews were also analyzed using the Constant Comparative method, which involved the seeking out of recurring themes, phrases, and/or patterns in the data and comparing across participants in order to identify common themes, or patterns, among all who participated. Themes that emerged included common experiences of individuals prior to converting, such as lack of involvement in religion in family of origin; common personality characteristics of converters, such as openness and intellectual curiosity; common individual experiences following conversion, including an increased emphasis on one's value system and feeling a sense of community; and common relationship experiences following conversion, such as feeling closer to one's spouse. In addition to a more in-depth discussion of results and themes, the final chapter of this document puts forth implications for clinicians treating individuals and couples when religion is involved, as well as several limitations and suggestions for further research due to the preliminary nature of the current study.
Subject:Psychology; Religious conversion; Marriage; Marital satisfaction; Adult attachment; Attachment; Social psychology; Developmental psychology; 0620:Developmental psychology; 0451:Social psychology
Added Entry:M. Dorian
Added Entry:Alliant International University, San Diego