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Marital Satisfaction Among African Americans and Black Caribbeans: Findings From the National Survey of American Life*

Authors

  • Chalandra M. Bryant,

    Corresponding author
      **Chalandra M. Bryant is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, 105 White Building, University Park, PA 16802-3903 (cmb34@psu.edu).
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  • Robert Joseph Taylor,

    Corresponding author
      Robert J. Taylor is an associate dean for Research in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (rjtaylor@umich.edu).
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  • Karen D. Lincoln,

    Corresponding author
      Karen D. Lincoln is an assistant professor of Social Work at the University of Southern California, 669 West 34th Street, MRF 327, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411 (klincoln@usc.edu).
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  • Linda M. Chatters,

    Corresponding author
      Linda M. Chatters is a professor of Public Health and professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (chatters@umich.edu).
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  • James S. Jackson

    Corresponding author
      James S. Jackson is a professor of Psychology and director of the Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248 (jamessj@umich.edu).
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  • *

    The data collection on which this study is based was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; U01-MH57716) with supplemental support from the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Michigan. The preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging to Drs. Chatters and Taylor (R01-AG18782) and Drs. Jackson and Taylor (P30-AG15281), a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD050045) to Dr. Bryant, and a grant from the NIMH (K01-MH69923-01) to Dr. Lincoln. The authors would like to thank Dr. David H. Chae for his valuable assistance with the data analysis for this study.

**Chalandra M. Bryant is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, 105 White Building, University Park, PA 16802-3903 (cmb34@psu.edu).

Robert J. Taylor is an associate dean for Research in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (rjtaylor@umich.edu).

Karen D. Lincoln is an assistant professor of Social Work at the University of Southern California, 669 West 34th Street, MRF 327, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411 (klincoln@usc.edu).

Linda M. Chatters is a professor of Public Health and professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, 1080 South University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (chatters@umich.edu).

James S. Jackson is a professor of Psychology and director of the Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248 (jamessj@umich.edu).

Abstract

Abstract: This study examines the correlates of marital satisfaction using data from a national probability sample of African Americans (N = 962) and Black Caribbeans (N = 560). Findings reveal differences between African Americans and Black Caribbeans, and men and women within those groups, in the predictors of marital satisfaction. Black Caribbean women reported overall higher levels of marital satisfaction than African American women. The findings amply demonstrate the significance of ethnic diversity within the Black population in the United States. Difficulties with finances (budgeting, credit issues, and debt management) are one of the key issues that generate conflict in marriages; stress generated as a result of financial problems can lower marital satisfaction. Because these issues are salient for couples at any given time in the family life cycle, counseling at critical points in the marriage (birth of children, launching of children from home, and retirement) may be helpful.

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