Purdue University Graduate School
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Societal Influences on Relationship Satisfaction in Black-White Interracial Couples

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posted on 2020-05-02, 03:03 authored by Briana N WalkerBriana N Walker
Interracial couples have different experiences compared to their intraracial counterparts. Interracial couples and their relationships (particularly their marriages) have been studied to see whether there are any effects on the relationship due to the couple’s inherent differences. However, the literature heavily focuses on interracial marriages while only touching on interracial relationships in general, with a primary focus on interracial couples of all kinds. With the tension between White and Black Americans over the years, one can wonder if there would be any noticeable differences within Black/White interracial couples with regard to racial identification and experienced discrimination due to the Black-White racial disparity. This study tested whether these factors contribute to the overall relationship satisfaction in Black/White interracial couples. Data were collected via MTurk and participants completed three assessments to capture how racial identity and experienced discrimination impact their relationship. Racial identity was assessed using Worrell, Mendoza, and Wang’s (2019) Cross Ethnic-racial Identity Scale- Adult (CERIS-A); perceived racial discrimination was assessed Conger’s (2006) revised version of Landrine et al.’s (2006) General Ethnic Discrimination Scale; and relationship satisfaction was assessed using Funk and Rogge’s (2007) Couples Satisfaction Index (CSI-16). It was predicted that experienced discrimination and racial identity would impact the relationship satisfaction of Black-White interracial couples. The results showed that experienced discrimination did significantly impact relationship satisfaction and racial identity, however, racial identity did not significantly impact relationship satisfaction in Black-White interracial couples. The lack of research on the CERIS-A’s validity when interacting with other constructs, a missing question on the CSI-16, and not accounting for biracial participants and their experiences with racial identity development are all limitations that should be considered when reviewing the results. Clinicians can use the information from this study to assist clients in having more conversations about their experiences of discrimination with one another and having them create their own meanings around interracial dating and racial identity.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Child Development and Family Studies

Campus location

  • Hammond

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. David P. Nalbone

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Megan J. Murphy

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Kathryn A. Sweeney