Black Marriages Matter: Wisdom and Advice From Happily Married Black Couples
black couples, marriage expectations, marital experiences
This study used in-depth interviews with Black and African American couples in happy, long-term marriages to capture advice that can serve to convey the hurdles and expectations of marriage in the African American community.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 29% of African Americans are married. However, the majority of African Americans still desire marriage themselves. Therefore, the advice and experiences of enduring African American couples could be beneficial to those younger couples hoping to one day marry.
Interviews and a semistructured interview protocol were used to gather data on marital experiences and counsel from 35 happily married African American couples. Data were analyzed using qualitative methods consistent with Marks (2015) Numeric Content Analysis.
Three emergent themes related to forming and strengthening African American marriages are discussed: (a) Communication Keeps Small Issues From Becoming Big Barriers; (b) Share Roles, Share Responsibilities; and (c) Manage Your Money to Manage Your Marriage.
Key aspects of strong African American marriages include the ability to maintain open lines of communication, to adjust spousal roles with emerging stressors, and to agree on the management of income and assets.
This study informs young African American couples, family life educators, and marriage therapists on the common experiences and perspectives in long-lasting African American marriages. Using this information, young African Americans and those engaging African Americans can work to build stronger families and communities.
Original Publication Citation
Skipper, A. D., Marks, L. D., & *Moore, T. J., & Dollahite, D. C. (2021). Black marriages matter: Wisdom and advice from happily married Black couples. Family Relations, 70, 1369-1383. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12565
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Skipper, Antonius D.; Marks, Loren D.; Moore, T.J.; and Dollahite, David C., "Black Marriages Matter: Wisdom and Advice From Happily Married Black Couples" (2021). Faculty Publications. 5836.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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