African American couples are more likely than others to share core religious beliefs and pray together at home — factors that have been linked to greater happiness in marriages and relationships, according to a study released Tuesday. In what is described as the first major look at relationship quality and religion across racial and ethnic lines, researchers report a significant link between relationship satisfaction and religious factors for whites, Hispanics and African Americans. The study appears in this month’s issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. True to the aphorism, couples who pray together stay together, said study co-author W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and “African American couples are more likely to have a shared spiritual identity as a couple.” The study found that 40 percent of blacks in marriages and live-in relationships who attended religious services regularly had a partner who did the same, compared with 29 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 29 percent of Hispanics.

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