Black and White interracial couples encounter societal and familial assessments that create additional tensions and conflict for their romantic relationship. This study examines parental approval and disapproval messages and their impact on interracial couples. Interdependence Theory and Facework provide the theoretical frameworks guiding this qualitative, interpretive examination. Thirty-eight individuals who represent 19 Black and White romantic pairs were each separately interviewed about their experiences as an interracial couple. Of particular interest is the communication of parental support or disapproval. Data were analyzed using Owen’s (1984) thematic analysis procedures. Results reveal that interracial dyads both experience public disapproval and illustrate that not all couples experience parental disapproval. However, couples with dual parental approval were less bothered by negative outside experiences than were one-sided approval couples. Data also reveal the importance of parental approval messages and highlight the destructive nature of disapproval messages with regards to the interracial couple’s face needs.
Journal of Social Issues
Wiley, for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Bell, G. C., & Hastings, S. O. (2015). Exploring Parental Approval and Disapproval for Black and White Interracial Couples. Journal of Social Issues, 71(4), 755-771. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josi.12147