View Resource File >

The family patterns of African Americans are distinctive in many ways. Compared with Caucasians, African Americans are less likely to marry and more likely to have children outside of marriage. African Americans also report lower levels of relationship quality and are more likely to end their marriages in divorce. Although family sociologists and demographers have known about research has attempted to explain them.

This NHMRC Research Report by Paul R. Amato, PhD describes previous studies of divorce among African Americans and presents an analysis of recent data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (1979). The analysis provides information on (1) the Black-White gap in marital disruption, (2) how this gap can be explained, and (3) factors that may affect marital disruption differently for Blacks and Whites. This information may be useful to counselors and therapists, marriage and relationship educators, and other family professionals.