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

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Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Robert Joseph Taylor.

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Taylor, R.J., Brown, E., Chatters, L.M. et al. Extended Family Support and Relationship Satisfaction Among Married, Cohabiting, and Romantically Involved African Americans and Black Caribbeans. J Afr Am St 16, 373–389 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-011-9205-y

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