Interracial Couples at Risk: Discrimination, Well-Being, and Health

Patricia S. Pittman, Claire Kamp Dush, Keeley J. Pratt, Jen D. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As the number of interracial couples in the U.S. continues to grow, it is important to examine stressors that may lead to decreased well-being and self-rated health due to stigma. Using AddHealth, we conducted ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions to test if individuals in Black/White interracial couples experience (1) higher stress and discriminatory experiences, (2) worse depression and self-rated health, and (3) if depression and self-rated health vary as a function of perceived stress and experiences of discrimination. Biological sex differences were assessed as well. Compared to White couples, interracial couples were, on average, more likely to experience discrimination, and higher perceived stress, more depressive symptoms, and worse overall self-rated health. Our findings suggest a potential mechanism underlying these associations might be through increased stress and discrimination. Future research should further assess additional stressors to understand if interracial couples experience worse health outcomes due to being in a stigmatized relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-325
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The first author was supported by funds from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Lucile and Roland Kennedy Scholarship Fund in Human Ecology.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • Black–White
  • discrimination
  • interracial romantic relationships
  • physical health
  • psychological well-being


Dive into the research topics of 'Interracial Couples at Risk: Discrimination, Well-Being, and Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this