Five types of African-American marriages

William D. Allen, David H. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This study developed a marital typology based on a nonrandom, national sample of 415 African-American couples who took the Enriching Relationship Issues, Communication and Happiness (ENRICH) marital assessment inventory. Five types of African-American marriages were identified through cluster analysis using the positive couple agreement (PCA) scores in 10 relationship domains. Relationships between marital satisfaction, marital stability, and the five marital types were then analyzed. The five types (from highest marital satisfaction to lowest) were labeled as vitalized, harmonious, traditional, conflicted, and devitalized. The results were similar to findings in studies of ethnically mixed (predominantly European-American) marital samples including the number and characteristics of marital types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-314
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of marital and family therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes


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