Semester of Graduation



Master of Science (MS)


Child and Family Studies

Document Type



Interracial Black-White romantic relationships are uniquely laden with additional prejudices and obstacles when compared to same race and other interracial pairings (Bell, 2015). While Black-White marriages are more widely accepted now, they still occur less frequently when compared with all other interracial marriages (Field et al., 2013). This study applies a critical race (Bell, 1992) lens to Bronfenbrenner’s (1994) ecological systems model to highlight the experiences that individuals in Black-White relationships navigate due to racism and its inequities. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the existing gap in the literature regarding Black-White interracial relationships as well as offer educational insight into Black-White race relations. This explanatory sequential mixed-method study will explore how individuals in Black-White romantic relationships describe their lived experiences and what these interracial pairings reveal about Black-White race relations. Participants (N = 10) included six females and four males who self-identified as Black (n = 3) and White (n = 7). Inclusion criteria consisted of heterosexual individuals in a Black-White romantic relationship of at least three months or individuals who were formerly in a Black-White romantic relationship for at least three months. Participants completed one short quantitative survey and one semi-structured interview with the researcher. To answer the research questions, both qualitative content and quantitative frequency analyses will be completed. The results of this study demonstrated that individuals in Black-White interracial relationships face additional challenges as they navigate interacting systems due to their unique social position. Individuals in these couples reported lack of familial acceptance, external stressors (e.g., discriminatory or racist encounters in public), parenting considerations, and the impact of the social and political climate. This study will help to inform latter studies on how to utilize a strengths-based perspective for Black-White couples and their families as they navigate their unique societal pressures.

Committee Chair

Brittany Wittenberg



Available for download on Monday, March 13, 2028