Weathering the Storm: The Shelter of Faith for Black American Christian Families


African American, Black families, Christian families, family, marriage, qualitative research, religion, spirituality


Religiosity is one of the most prominent characteristics of many strong African American families. While scholars have examined the role of religion in various macro-level contexts (e.g., churches, communities, organizations), we know less regarding how religion directly influences the worldview and relational processes of African American families. To address this paucity, we provide in-depth, qualitative responses from 26 African American Christian families (N = 55 individuals) regarding how prayer and faith influence their marriage and parenting processes. Qualitative analyses revealed that prayer and faith reportedly influenced strong African American marriages in three domains: (1) General Life Strengths, (2) Marital Strengths, and (3) Parenting Strengths. This study emphasizes the importance of using a strengths-based perspective to understand how religion sustains many strong Black families.

Original Publication Citation

*Millett, M. A., *Cook, L. E., Skipper, A. D., Chaney, C. D., Marks, L. D., & Dollahite, D. C. (2018). Weathering the storm: The shelter of faith for Black American Christian families. Marriage and Family Review, 54, 662-676.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Marriage & Family Review




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor