Saturday, November 17, 2007

Resiliency in Interracial Marriages

Many of the people engaged in stable, well-functioning interracial marriages tend to be older, more educated, and have higher incomes, all factors seen as increasing marital stability. Interracial couples that appear to be more vulnerable to marital difficulties tend to have lower incomes, less education, and limited residence in the United States of a foreign-born partner. The length of residence can amplify cultural differences in the relationship and generate or exacerbate marital discord. Marital stability is also affected by the particular racial combination. Racial prejudice is often cited as a main reason why, in some racial groups, out-marriages are rare and in others are more common. In addition, racial prejudice has been shown to affect the resiliency of the marriage based on the partner's ability to cope with the prejudice.

There are several factors that could facilitate resiliency in interracial marriages. First, interracial marriages tend to be more stable and involve fewer conflicts than other types of interracial relationships. Second, whereas interracial couples and families face unique challenges, they tend to develop mature coping and conflict-resolution styles. Third, given that well-functioning interracial couples often have higher levels of education, they tend to have superior resources for coping with the problems they encounter. Finally, interracial couples tend to build support networks of like-minded people and build strong bonds with each other as a means to overcome adversity.

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