Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Meaning of Marriage Among Black Men

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Journal of Family Issues, ISSN: 0192-513X, Vol: 34, Issue: 7, Page: 859-884

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Hurt, Tera R.
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences; Black; men; marriage; meaning
article description
Black men benefit from healthy, satisfying marriages in domains of physical, psychological, and financial well-being. Yet marriage among Black men has declined and remains elusive for many. One gap in the research concerns the positive meaning that Black men find in their marriages. Prior research has failed to collect in-depth accounts of Black men's experiences of marriage. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the meaning of marriage among 52 Black men, using interview data. Findings highlight four themes in the meaning of marriage-secure emotional support, lifelong commitment, enhanced life success, and secure attachment. Two themes emerged from the data related to important influences on the construction of meaning relative to marriage-faith, and the dynamics of give and take. Responses among the men concerning the change in marriage over time related to transitions in American marriages and a deepened respect for marriage. Implications are discussed. © The Author(s) 2012.