Washington, April 11 : Want to find out whether your spouse is cheating on you? Well, then you just need to observe your partner's attendance at religious services, says a new study.
The study, led by David C. Atkins and Deborah E. Kessel of the Fuller Theological Seminary, has revealed that attendance at religious services predicts marital fidelity.
The study, in which participants were drawn from the 1998 General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, explores how various dimensions of religious life, including prayer, closeness to God, faith, and religious activities related to infidelity.
In the study, researchers found that religious service attendance was the only unique, religious predictor of infidelity while prayer, importance of religiousness, and strong reported faith were not predictors.
According to researchers, attendance likely implies prevention of infidelity in the sense that it is a shared activity between spouses.
They believe that attending services can create a strong network of relationships within the church, synagogue, or mosque that can provide social support to the spouses.
Besides this, they feel that attending services means that an individual is hearing religious teaching on marital fidelity and the general importance of marriage.
"Our study focuses the spotlight on religious service attendance with respect to this important aspect of marital life," the authors said.
"It opens the door for a host of questions about why attendance might have this special association," they added.
The study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, is based on surveys, which involved structured, face-to-face interviews with questions related to religion and spirituality.