Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The goals of the current study were to explore what barriers African American men and women experience in their past and/or current relationships and to explore in what way, if any, thesis issues correspond with those issues reported by White Americans. This researcher also wanted to examine if gender role issues and racism have contributed to the problems faced by African Americans couples. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 African American men and women, all of whom had a past and/or current heterosexual relationship of two years or longer. Interview questions focused on the troubling issues in the relationship, perceived causes of these issues, and whether or not the participants related these issues to larger issues such as racism, sexism, and socio economic status. The major findings of this study were that similar to studies conducted on White Americans, issues revolving around trust, communication, and finances were reported most frequently as troubling issues by participants and that the participants did not necessarily relate these issues to racism, sexism, and/or socio economic status. However, individuals who were in their first long term relationship did not report any of these issues, trust and communication.


iii, 69 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 46-49).