Stressors in African American Marriages and Families: A Qualitative Exploration


African American, black, coping, marriage, stress


A majority of the studies that examine stress in African American families address low-income, single-mother families. This limitation sharply constrains our understanding of the fuller range of African American experience because many African American families are not single-mother families. Based on qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with sixteen marriage-based African American families (N = 32; 16 mothers and 16 fathers) from four regions of the United States, this paper offers a rare, in-depth look at the challenges and experiences of marriage-based black families. Key themes include: (a) stress in the workplace, (b) stress in balancing work and family, and (c) family-related stress. Interview data that illustrate and support each of these themes and several related sub-themes are presented and implications are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Marks, L. D., *Nesteruk, O.,*Hopkins-Williams, K., *Swanson, M., & Davis, T. (2006). Stressors in African American marriages and families: A qualitative study. Stress, Trauma, and Crisis: An International Journal, 9, 203-225.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Stress, Trauma, and Crisis




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor