Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Science (MS)


Child and Family Studies

Document Type



This mixed-methods study examined marital satisfaction among five (n = 10) heterosexual, African American married couples. In particular, this study examined how acknowledging a partner’s love language (Chapman, 1995) can affect these couples’ level of marital satisfaction. The participants were native to the South and ranged from 26-55 years of age. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data revealed couples were satisfied with their marriages. Although only marginally significant, the findings also revealed acknowledging a spouse’s love language was positively related to higher levels of marital satisfaction. Seven themes emerged throughout the interviews, namely communication; financial stability; understand a spouse’s needs; spirituality and religion; outside influences; society’s view of Black marriages; and room for growth and improvement. In general, the findings reveal that in spite of difficulties, strong African American marriages exist.

Committee Chair

Chaney, Cassandra