Stressors in African American Marriages and Families: A Qualitative Exploration

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Review Article

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A majority of the studies that examine stress in African American families address low-income, single-mother families. This limitation sharply constrains our understanding of the fuller range of African American experience because many African American families are not single-mother families. Based on qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with sixteen marriage-based African American families (N = 32; 16 mothers and 16 fathers) from four regions of the United States, this paper offers a rare, in-depth look at the challenges and experiences of marriage-based black families. Key themes include: (a) stress in the workplace, (b) stress in balancing work and family, and (c) family-related stress. Interview data that illustrate and support each of these themes and several related sub-themes are presented and implications are discussed.



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