School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Frederick Volk


African Americans, African Caribbean, Conflict Style, Marital Satisfaction, Culture, Intercultural


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Current literature suggests that culture-specific relationships exist between conflict styles and marital satisfaction; however, researchers have only focused on marriages between non-Westerners and Westerners. Very little research exists on how these variables function uniquely in marriages involving African American and African Caribbean individuals. This quantitative study examined the relationship between conflict style and marital satisfaction with and between African Caribbean and African American couples living in the United States. The research focused on three questions: (1) Will cultural differences between spouses influence the relationship between conflict styles and marital satisfaction? (2) Will there be any observable differences in conflict styles between African American, African Caribbean, and culturally mixed couples? (3) Will rates of spousal conflict differ between African American couples, culturally mixed couples, and African Caribbean couples? It was hypothesized that (1) Cultural differences within the marriage will moderate the relationship between conflict style and marital satisfaction; (2) African Americans would use more assertive conflict styles and African Caribbeans would use more cooperative conflict styles and; (3) Given the differences in cultural and relationship expectations, rates of conflict will be lower among African Caribbean couples. Multiple regression analysis was used investigate the first research question and hypothesis. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze the second research question and hypothesis, and an independent samples t-test analyzed the third research question and hypothesis. Findings from this study suggested that African Caribbean, African American, and culturally mixed couples share more similarities in terms of conflict style and marital satisfaction than differences.

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