In the attachment study by Freeze and DiTommaso (2015), it states “social support has been found to be an important determinant of well-being” (p. 69). Using “well-being” as their outcome, they found that those individuals, regardless of their attachment to family members, found security in their church family, and those who were more involved in church. Especially individuals involved with small group Bible studies reported more positive well-being.
This finding is consistent with other studies that I have used to address our Christ-centered, biblically based Batterer Intervention Program (BIP), “Fit to Lead.”
Research states that the “punitive measures being taken against domestic violence offenders are least likely to deter (and perhaps will even exacerbate) tendencies to quarrel among persons who lack community and/or familial bonds” (Sherman, Smith, Schmidt, & Rogan, 1992, p. 681). The federal Justice Department also found that intervention programs have “little to no impact on reoffending, nor do they change the attitudes of the offender. In fact, according to an NIJ update in 2009, some programs actually seem to make abusers more likely to abuse.
However – Sullivan (2001) found that as a commitment to religiosity increases, not only does the commitment to the marriage increase but so does marital satisfaction. In addition, when the church gets involved, research has shown that batterers who are referred to a BIP by their clergy are over 90% more likely to complete the program and the rate of recidivism decreases as well.
Ashley, H. (2019). Research study response to Attachment to God and church family: Predictors of spiritual and psychological well-being. Freeze, T. A. & DiTommaso, E. (2004). Journal of Psychology and Theology, 32. 60-71.
U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings. (2009). Female victims of violence. (NCJ Publication No. 228356). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvv.pdf
Sherman, L., Smith, D., Schmidt, J. D., and Rogan, D. P. (1992). Crime, punishment and stake in conformity: Legal and informal control of domestic violence. American Sociological Review, 52, 680–690.
Sullivan, K. T. (2001). Understanding the relationship between religiosity and marriage: An investigation of the immediate and longitudinal effects of religiosity on newlywed couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 15(4), 610-626. doi:10.1037/0893-318.104.22.1680