Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 373–389 | Cite as

Extended Family Support and Relationship Satisfaction Among Married, Cohabiting, and Romantically Involved African Americans and Black Caribbeans

  • Robert Joseph TaylorEmail author
  • Edna Brown
  • Linda M. Chatters
  • Karen D. Lincoln


Data from the National Survey of American Life are used to investigate relationship satisfaction and their relation to extended family relations (i.e., emotional support and negative interaction) among nationally representative samples of African American and Black Caribbean adults. The study contributes to the literature by focusing on two groups of unmarried persons—those who are cohabiting and persons who are unmarried/non-cohabiting—in addition to married persons. Findings indicate that emotional support from extended family is positively associated with relationship satisfaction for married and cohabiting African Americans and Black Caribbeans who are romantically involved. Negative interaction from extended family is associated with lower relationship satisfaction for married, cohabiting, and romantically involved African Americans and for married Black Caribbeans. Differences in the pattern of associations between extended family relations and relationship satisfaction are discussed in terms of the distinctive social and family contexts of Black Caribbean and African American families.


African Americans Black Carribeans Marriage Extended family support Social support Negative interaction Cohabitation 



The data collection on which this study is based was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; U01-MH57716) with supplemental support from the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Michigan. The preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health to Drs. Chatters and Taylor (R01-MH082807) from the National Institute on Aging for Dr. Taylor (P30-AG15281) and from the National Institute of Mental Health for Drs. Lincoln and Chatters (R01 MH084963).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Joseph Taylor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edna Brown
    • 2
  • Linda M. Chatters
    • 3
  • Karen D. Lincoln
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Social Work, Program for Research on Black Americans, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.School of Social Work, School of Public Health, Program for Research on Black Americans, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.School of Social Work, Roybal Institute on AgingUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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