Checks and Balances: Family Structure and Religious Financial Giving

Master's Thesis


In recent years, the topic of religious financial giving has garnered increased scholarly attention within the sociology of religion (e.g. Chaves and Miller 1999, Hoge et al. 1996; Smith et al. 2008; Wuthnow 1997). Religious financial gifts are crucial to the survival of religious institutions; parishioners collectively supply upwards of 90% of the annual revenue at three-quarters of American congregations (Chaves 2004). Though some progress has been made in ascertaining how family structure impacts giving, the extant literature offers limited insight into how decisions about religious financial giving are made at the household level.Relying on participant observation, in-depth interviews, and congregation-reported financial giving amounts gathered at ‘Good Shepherd Presbyterian (USA),’ a mainline Protestant congregation and ‘Bridgeway Community Church,’ an evangelical Protestant congregation in collaboration with the Northern Indiana Congregational Study (NICS), I ask how family structure and marital relationships affect giving patterns.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04142010-001922

Author Hilary Anne Davidson
Advisor Christian Smith
Contributor Mary Ellen Konieczny, Committee Member
Contributor Christian Smith, Committee Chair
Contributor Jessica Collett, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Defense Date
  • 2010-03-06

Submission Date 2010-04-14
  • United States of America

  • religion

  • religious financial giving

  • gender

  • family

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units

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