School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Frederick Volk


African American Marriage, Religiosity, Marital Longevity, Closeness to God


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Religion and religious involvement extend beyond individual satisfaction to also include influencing marital and family relationships. In spite of the research supporting the perceived benefits of marriage, including overall emotional and physical health, decrease in stress, alcohol and drug use, and increase in lifespan, African Americans marriage rates are lower compared to White Americans. Consequently, African Americans have the highest divorce rate and the highest incidences of single-parent homes. Religiosity is often overlooked as an important component that contributes to satisfaction and enduring relationships. There is also a perceived relationship between closeness to God and romantic attachment that leads to stable, sustaining relationships characterized by secure bonds that protect against marital dissolution. This quantitative research examined the linear relationship between two independent variables closeness to God and religiosity and two dependent variables marital satisfaction and longevity for married individuals from a sample of 65 African American and 280 White participants. An analysis of covariance assessed the interaction between closeness to God and religiosity and marital satisfaction and longevity using scores obtained from the Religious Commitment Inventory and the one question adaptation of the Religiosity Salience-Cognition Scale that measures religiosity and closeness to God in African Americans and Whites. This research did not support a linear relationship between religiosity and satisfaction, religiosity and longevity, and closeness to God and longevity. The presence of neuroticism interacted with the correlation in each simple regression analyses. A weak correlation was identified between closeness to God and satisfaction and identifies African Americans have higher religiosity than Whites.

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