Date of Conferral







Anthony Perry


Blacks marry less and divorce more than any other racial demographic in the United States. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine identity style preferences in relation to attitudes toward marriage and marital satisfaction among Black Americans. Identity style is the way in which a person approaches and processes information that has the potential to affect self-identity. Identity style theory suggests there are three primary styles (informative, normative, and diffuse-avoidant) and that each person will eventually settle upon a preferred style. All participants in this study were United States citizens, over the age of 18, and self-identified as Black. Participants were recruited through online participant pools. This study consisted of 2 groups of participants: single and married. All participants completed the Identity Style Inventory 5 to provide a measure of identity style preference. Single participants completed the General Attitudes toward Marriage Scale (GAMS) to provide a measure of attitudes toward marriage. Married participants completed the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale to provide a measure of marital satisfaction. Multiple regression analyses were used to identify relationships between the 3 identity styles, marital satisfaction, and attitudes toward marriage. The informational identity style was found to predict higher marital satisfaction. The diffuse-avoidant identity style was found to predict positive attitudes toward marriage. The normative style was not found to predict marital satisfaction or attitudes toward marriage. This study adds to the current literature regarding Black marriage trends and may aid in future development of intervention methods designed to increase the marriage rate and lower the divorce rate among all Black Americans.