Marital Quality of Newlywed African American Couples: Implications of Egalitarian Gender Role Dynamics

Christine E. Stanik, Chalandra M. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research examined associations between husbands' and wives' gender role attitudes, division of household labor, and marital quality in a sample of 697 newlywed African American couples residing in the southern region of the United States. Guided by a cultural ecological framework, we tested hypotheses specific to the unique socio-cultural context of African Americans using a mixed model ANCOVA design. Results revealed that: (1) couples reported lower marital quality when husbands had relatively more traditional gender role attitudes; (2) husbands reported lower marital quality when the couple engaged in a relatively more traditional division of household labor; and (3) husbands with more traditional attitudes who also engaged in a traditional division of labor reported lower marital quality compared to all other husbands. Although African Americans are thought to have more flexible gender role orientations than other racial/ethnic groups within the U. S., these results document within group variability in couple gender dynamics and its association with variability in marital quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-267
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Volume66
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African American
  • Division of household labor
  • Gender role attitudes
  • Marriage

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