The rapid growth of the Latino population in the United States has renewed interest in Latino family research. It has often been assumed that Catholicism is a key factor influencing Latinos’ attitudes toward the family, despite the fact that nearly one third of Latinos are not Catholic. This article uses data from the 2006 National Survey of Religion and Family Life, a survey of working-age adults (aged 18-59 years) in the lower 48 states, to explore the relationship between multiple dimensions of religiosity—denomination, church attendance, prayer, and beliefs about the Bible—and Latinos’ attitudes regarding marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and casual sex. Compared with Catholics, evangelical Protestants tend to hold more conservative attitudes on family-related issues. Latinos who attend services regularly and pray frequently also report more traditional views. Findings involving literalist views of the Bible are more equivocal. Taken together, religious variables are just as potent as socioeconomic and demographic factors in explaining individual-level variation in Latinos’ attitudes. Study limitations are noted, and several directions for future research are identified.
Originally published in Journal of Family Issues, 2012, 34(3), 295-322 See it here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0192513X12445458