Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Jennifer Margrett


African Americans are currently the 2nd largest minority group in the United States (U.S. Census, 2004); however, there is a paucity of research within this population examining the unique context and characteristics of both individuals and couples related to marital and emotional distress. The current study addressed these limitations through the utilization of self-reported and observational data measures of partner warmth provided through the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS). The current analyses focused on the longitudinal effects of anxiety and partner warmth on marital satisfaction among 99 African American couples within FACHS. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed significant associations between self-reported partner warmth, community racism, and marital satisfaction among men. For women, financial strain was significantly linked to subsequent marital satisfaction. The discussion highlights the role of gender differences, socioeconomic status, and neighborhood influences which play a role in the current study findings. Also of relevance to clinical settings, the current findings suggest that identification of stressors (i.e., financial strain and community racism) may assist clinicians working with African American clients by facilitating understanding and more appropriate assessment of important influences on African American marital satisfaction.


Copyright Owner

Sonja Stutzman



Date Available


File Format


File Size

74 pages