Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Matthew D. Johnson

Abstract

Although rates of approval toward interracial couples are increasing (Carroll, 2007), interracial couples report facing prejudice and discrimination including disapproval and ostracism from family, friends, and the general public (Carbone-Lopez, 2013; Martin, Campbell, Ueno, Fincham, 2013; Potter & Thomas, 2012; Troy, Lewis-Smith, Laurenceau, 2006). However, there is growing evidence as acceptance rates and challenges faced by couples vary (Pew Research Center, 2012, Golebiowska, 2007), that experiences are different for couples depending on the racial group and gender of both partners involved.

To better understand the experience of different interracial couples, I conducted two studies to examine the particular stressors they may encounter and how they are perceived by others. First, I used data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) and the National Survey of American Life (NSAL; N = 5,413), to examine whether the racial and gender composition of a couple (e.g., Asian American man/Hispanic American woman) coincides with the amount and type of challenges a couple experiences. Second, I used a Mechanical Turk sample (N = 447) to examine the social bias toward interracial couples of different racial and gender compositions using the implicit association task (IAT). Overall it seems societal views towards different racial groups are influential in what interracial couples experience and how they were perceived. Rather than considering interracial couples a homogeneous group, future studies should account for the different types of these couples as it may have implications on results.

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Psychology Commons

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