Over the past few decades, marriage rates in the U. S. among African Americans continues to decline, yet African American women continue to express a desire to be married. Using a grounded theory qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews (N = 23), we explored marital attitudes among never married African American women. Participants identified both negative and positive exposures to marriage during childhood and messaging from family and faith communities as major sources influencing their desire to marry. Other themes, such as respectability and child behavioral benefits emerged that influenced women’s attitudes towards marriage. We present a discussion of the findings, limitations of this study, and next steps in the research.
- African American women, marital attitudes, never married, grounded theory, marital paradigm theory (MPT)