Ethnic Identity and Relationship Satisfaction among African American Heterosexual Couples

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2008-08-11

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In an attempt to better understand factors contributing to relationship satisfaction among African American heterosexual couples, this study explored the impact of communication behavior and partner acceptance on relationship satisfaction among African American heterosexual couples. Additionally, the moderating role of ethnic identity on African American relationship processes and couple satisfaction was also explored. Results indicated that communication behaviors and partner acceptance were significantly related to relationship satisfaction among African American couples. Additionally, crossover effects were found such that the communication behaviors and partner acceptance of one partner significantly impacted the relationship satisfaction of their spouse. However, these results varied by gender. Finally, analyses exploring the moderation effect of ethnic identity found that female ethnic identity moderated the relationship between female acceptance of partner positive behavior and male relationship satisfaction. Research and clinical implications of these findings for African American heterosexual relationships are discussed.

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