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01-06-2013 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 6/2013

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 6/2013

The Contribution of Community and Family Contexts to African American Young Adults’ Romantic Relationship Health: A Prospective Analysis

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 6/2013
Auteurs:
Steven M. Kogan, Man-Kit Lei, Christina R. Grange, Ronald L. Simons, Gene H. Brody, Frederick X. Gibbons, Yi-fu Chen

Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that African American men and women experience unique challenges in developing and maintaining stable, satisfying romantic relationships. Extant studies have linked relationship quality among African American couples to contemporaneous risk factors such as economic hardship and racial discrimination. Little research, however, has examined the contextual and intrapersonal processes in late childhood and adolescence that influence romantic relationship health among African American adults. We investigated competence-promoting parenting practices and exposure to community-related stressors in late childhood, and negative relational schemas in adolescence, as predictors of young adult romantic relationship health. Participants were 318 African American young adults (59.4 % female) who had provided data at four time points from ages 10–22 years. Structural equation modeling indicated that exposure to community-related stressors and low levels of competence-promoting parenting contributed to negative relational schemas, which were proximal predictors of young adult relationship health. Relational schemas mediated the associations of competence-promoting parenting practices and exposure to community stressors in late childhood with romantic relationship health during young adulthood. Results suggest that enhancing caregiving practices, limiting youths’ exposure to community stressors, and modifying relational schemas are important processes to be targeted for interventions designed to enhance African American adults’ romantic relationships.

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