Washington: Couples who share religious practices tend to be happier than those who don`t, according to a new study.
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."
In the study, researchers 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.
White couples, in general, reported greater relationship satisfaction than other groups, presumably because of income and educational advantages, the study says. But the racial gap lessens when religious similarities come into the mix.
"What this study suggests is that religion is one of the key factors narrowing the racial divide in relationship quality in the United States," the Washington Post quoted Wilcox as saying.
The strongest difference-maker for couples was spiritual activities such as praying or reading the Bible at home.
"Praying together as a couple is something that is very intimate for people who are religious. It adds another level of closeness to a relationship," Wilcox said.
The study appears in this month`s issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.