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Fam Process. 2012 Jun;51(2):234-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01397.x.

Primary relationship scripts among lower-income, African American young adults.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0503, USA.


Research on romantic relationships among lower income, African American young adults has mostly focused on problem behaviors, and has infrequently documented nonpathological relationship processes that are widely studied among middle-class college students, their wealthier and largely European American counterparts [Journal of Black Studies 39 (2009) 570]. To identify nonpathological cultural concepts related to heterosexual romantic relationships, we interviewed 144 low to low-mid income, African American young adults aged 19-22 from the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, metropolitan Chicago, IL, and Greater Birmingham, AL. We identified 12 gender-shared scripts related to the romantic relationship in areas of (1) defining the relationship, (2) processes of joining, (3) maintaining balance, and (4) modulating conflict. Understanding romantic relationship scripts is important as successful romantic relationships are associated with improved mental and physical health among lower income individuals as compared with individuals without romantic partners [Social Science & Medicine 52 (2001) 1501].

© FPI, Inc.

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