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Exploring the Experience of Race-related Stress and Marital Satisfaction among African American Married Couples
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how race-related stress influenced marital satisfaction among ten African American married couples. Each couple participated in a 60 to 90 minute interview and completed a measure of marital satisfaction. Using phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, and family systems theory as a theoretical lens, this study described how African American married couples came to understand if and how the phenomenon of race-related stress influenced their marital satisfaction, and what meanings they created from this experience. Using modified analytic induction, couples discussed how their individual factors influenced their perceptions of race-related stress. Race-related stress couples also discussed how the phenomenon strengthened and challenged their marital satisfaction. It was also discovered that couples with race-related stress developed ways of coping with race-related stress in an effort to protect their marital satisfaction. One of the ten couples reported not experiencing race-related stress. A conceptual model, future research, and clinical implications from these findings are discussed.