A theological and marital interactional analysis of African American Christian couples
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SubjectAfrican American families.
African American men.
African American women.
Married people--Religious life.
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The primary purpose of this dissertation was to examine fifty African American Christian couples in the Black Church using an observational research design that considers the influences of religiosity, spirituality and the sanctification of marriage in the Black Church. The second major focus of this marital research project involved utilizing the T-MACC observational coding system to determine the relationship between the husband's and wife's level of marital satisfaction, intimacy and how these factors describe the application of a more mature Christian life to one's marriage. Chapter 1 provides a rationale for the selection of African American Christian marriages, along with a brief review of the statistical data on marriages and an overview of the research methodology. Chapter 2 describes the centrality of the Black Church and its impetus in serving as the mainstay of support for African Americans, socially, spiritually and psychologically. Also, current and relevant literature is presented with respect to African American marriages, concerning marital satisfaction, religiosity, spirituality, race and comparative studies. Chapter 3 describes a biblical, theological, historical, African American pastoral perspective and an overall anthropological foundation for understanding the current state of our marital unions. Chapter 4 presents both the qualitative and quantitative research methodology used in this marital research study. Also, this chapter presents the rationale for utilizing the T-MACC observational coding system along with several self-report tools to measure the couple's level of religiosity, spirituality and sanctification of marriage as it relates to overall marital satisfaction levels. Chapter 5 offers an overview of the data and the results, as well as correlative interpretations from the pilot study couples' individual T-MACC scores, and the self-report instruments which were specifically used to determine the husband's and wife's overall levels of marital adjustment, religiosity, spirituality, sanctification of marriage and level of marital satisfaction. Chapter 6 offers a more refined interpretation of the data and findings resulting from this research project. Also, practical and meaningful applications are drawn to succinctly address the specific, yet unique spiritual, sociological, psychological tensions and everyday challenges that exist within the context of African American Christian marriages in the Black Church.