Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Cyndi C. Briggs


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of maritally satisfied Black American couples when at least one partner is serving in law enforcement. Members of law enforcement, Black American couples, and members of the counseling profession can gain knowledge from the answering of the research question. A family strengths perspective was used to provide a framework to study the phenomenon of marital satisfaction from a positive perspective. Six Black American couples, who are satisfied in their marriage and employed in law enforcement for a period of a least 6 months during their marriage, participated in interviews. The data analytic procedures centered around the development of an organizing system with a focus on the sober reflection of the lived experiences and identifying emerging themes. The findings indicated that through a strength-based approach, it is possible for Black American married couples to maintain marital satisfaction while enduring the stress of negative circumstances. Themes were identified that enhance marital satisfaction and can be implemented in the relationships of couples working to heal their marriage. The potential social implications of this research study include filling an absence in counseling literature and change for families and communities overall by aiding individuals in building stronger marriages, which ultimately leads to stronger communities.