Comparison of Structural Interaction Patterns in African American and Caucasian Clinical Couples: The Moderating Effect of Financial Resources
Hart, John Rennie
Epstein, Dr. Norman B
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This study focused on degrees to which African American and Caucasian couples who have sought couple therapy at a community clinic differ on measures of relationship boundaries and power/hierarchy. Potential effects that financial resources may have on the relationship between couples' ethnic group membership and their structural patterns were examined. The sample was 77 couples who previously were assessed and treated at a university-based clinic. These two ethnic groups were examined in order to explore potential cultural differences in relationship interaction patterns. Results showed there were no significant ethnic group differences for the three structural dimensions other than a trend for Caucasian couples to exhibit more autonomy between partners than African American couples. There were moderating effects of financial resources in relation to the boundary between the partners and for power dynamics. No significant gender differences were found other than males being more likely to perceive their partner as controlling.