Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Lenore S. Brantley

Third Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell

Abstract

Problem. It has been argued that many of the theories attempting to explain African-American culture derive from a Eurocentric framework, and thus paint a negative and pathological picture of the African-American family and community. What is needed is research examining African-American family life which holds Afrocentric culture and beliefs as its foundation. Consequently, this study is an attempt to investigate the relationship between Afrocentric cultural consciousness (Afrocentric worldview) and marital satisfaction of spouses of African descent.

Method. This study used a correlational and ex post facto research design involving surveys to assess the relationship between the dependent variable (marital satisfaction) and the independent variable (Afrocentric cultural consciousness, or components thereof) in married couples of African descent. The research involved subjects answering 57 questions on two self-report questionnaires (15 on marital satisfaction and 42 onAfrocentric cultural consciousness) as well as some demographic information. The two instruments used were:the Marital Adjustment Test (MAT) and the African Self-Consciousness Scale (ASC).

Results. No significant correlation was found between the two main variables; however, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, denominational affiliation, and the number of children a couple has all have an influence on marital satisfaction and/or Afrocentric cultural consciousness and or the relationship between these.Afrocentric cultural consciousness was more affected by these variables than marital satisfaction.

Conclusions. Although no main effect was found in this study the results do suggest what may really be important to marital satisfaction is not the particular worldview that one holds as much as whether or not that particular worldview matches one's spouse's belief system.

Subject Area

African Americans--Marriage

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