Communications Project

Document Type:Dissertation
Name:Virginia Hamlin-Jones
Title:The Engagement and Impact of Relational Maintenance Behaviors in African-American Dual-Career Couples
Degree:Doctor of Philosophy
Department:Family and Child Development
Committee Chair: Dr. Gloria Bird
Committee Members:Thomas Hohenshil
Victoria Fu
Michael Sporakowski
Cosby Rogers
Keywords:Relational Maintenance, African-American, Dual-Career
Date of defense:April 10, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


The Engagement and Impact of Relational Maintenance Behaviors in African-American Dual-Career Couples by Virginia Hamlin-Jones Department of Family and Child Development ABSTRACT Using individual and couple interviews, this qualitative work examined relational maintenance behaviors of 13 African-American dual-career couples. Findings reveal that study participants employed a variety of routine and strategic behaviors which they identified as relevant to maintaining marital satisfaction and stability. Couples distinguished between strategies in their daily interactions and those implemented for the long-term sustainment of their marriages. Couples also engaged a series of repair behaviors designed to restore the marital relationship once a transgression occurred. A new category of maintenance was discovered as useful for these African-American couples -- seek a spiritual connection. Each finding is discussed in regard to how it advances understanding of relational maintenance behaviors.

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