Comparing Members of Interracial and Same-Race Clinical Couples: Conflict and Steps Toward Leaving the Relationship
Young, Jennnifer Louise
Epstein, Norman B
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Past research on marital divorce rates indicates that interracial couples are more likely to divorce than same-race couples. There has been speculation that this higher rate of relationship dissolution stems from larger differences in partners' backgrounds, values, and culture. These differences may contribute to higher levels of conflict in interracial relationships. The present study compared conflict levels reported by members of interracial and same-race couples in a clinical sample, using secondary data from couples receiving treatment at the Center for Healthy Families, a clinic at the University of Maryland, College Park. Members of interracial couples reported higher overall conflict, and higher conflict in specific areas, as well as more steps taken toward leaving their relationships than those in same-race couples. Higher conflict mediated group differences in steps taken to leave the relationship. Constructive couple communication did not moderate the association between couple type and level of conflict.