Stressors in African American marriages and families: A qualitative exploration

Loren Marks, Olena Nesteruk, Katrina Hopkins-Williams, Mandy Swanson, Tanya Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-225
Number of pages23
JournalStress, Trauma and Crisis
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • African American
  • Black
  • Coping
  • Marriage
  • Stress


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