Answered By: Gloria Korsman Last Updated: Aug 19, 2015 Views: 546
When I search for the quotation, "A 1980 Harvard University study...." in Google Books, the results indicate that the quote comes from Bob Russell's Marriage by the Book: Biblical Models for Marriage Today (1992).
I find no evidence of a study on church attendance and divorce rates at Harvard University around 1980, and strongly suspect that Bob Russell's reference is slightly incorrect. My hunch is that he meant to cite the following 1980 study authored by a Princeton University scholar, because this study includes data that suggest that church attendance is a factor in marital satisfaction:
Title: Religion and marital instability : change in the 1970s.
Author(s): Shrum, Wesley
Source: Review of Religious Research 21 no 3 Spr 1980, p 135-147.
Physical Description: tables
Publication Year: 1980
Subjects: Divorce ; Marriage ; Religious attitudes ; Peer reviewed
Abstract: The relationship between religious commitment, affiliation, and marital instability is investigated for the period 1972 to 1977 by means of log-linear methods. Three explanations for the increase in marital instability which refer to religious factors are examined: an overall decline in religiosity, changes in the nature of religious belief, and convergence of denominational differences. None of these are adequate: the preferred model suggests that the relationship between religiosity, as indicated by church attendance, and marital instability is unchanging, as is the relationship between affiliation and instability. The strength of the relationship between religiosity and instability does not depend on religious affiliation.
The author perhaps confused Princeton and Harvard when writing the book. He may have repeated incorrect information gathered from another source.