This paper provides novel evidence on differences in health outcomes of children in religious and non-religious families in Russia. The health indicators analyzed include the subjective health status and anthropometric outcomes. The endogeneity of religiosity is accounted for. The empirical findings suggest that if both parents are religious, their religiosity does not affect children's height-for-age, but increases children's body mass index and subjective health. Father's religiosity has a stronger salutary effect than mother's religiosity. In fatherless families, children's health is more strongly affected by mother's education and employment status than in two-parent families. All findings are stronger for older children. These results underscore the importance of considering both maternal and paternal characteristics for family-oriented policies that target the protection of children's health. Also, policies protecting children's health should target single mothers as a particularly vulnerable social group.
children health religiosity parental beliefs Russia