Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Whisman

Abstract

Interracial relationships are increasing rapidly in the U.S., yet the divorce rate for these couples are substantially higher than that of intraracial couples. With populations of Asian Americans and Latinos increasing faster than any other racial group, factors affecting these groups in particular need to be examined in order to provide tailored services and support. This study uses the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLAAS) to examine potential differences between interracial couples and intraracial couples on relationship satisfaction, relationship adjustment (i.e., partner support and strain), and intimate partner violence (IPV), as these factors may be contributing to a greater instability among interracial couples compared to intraracial couples. Results did not support the hypotheses that compared to intraracial couples, interracial couples would report lower marital satisfaction, fewer positive partner interactions (i.e., less partner support), more frequent negative partner interactions (i.e., greater partner strain), and greater levels of IPV. People who were in an interracial relationship reported greater partner support than people who were in an intraracial relationship; there was no association between interracial relationship status and the other measures of relationship functioning. Race moderated the association between interracial relationships and minor perpetration of violence such that Latinos in interracial relationships were less likely to be the perpetrators of minor forms of IPV than Latinos in intraracial relationships; there were no differences between interracial and intraracial relationships on perpetration of minor IPV for Asians.

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