Rashida Spence, Ph.D., is a 2021 graduate of the PhD Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Denzel Jones, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Valerie Riggs, PhD, Committee Member
  • Amber Venum, PhD, Committee Member


African American relationship satisfaction, Black couples, African American marriages, African American satisfaction, couples satisfaction, healthy Black relationships

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The current study uses a strengths-based framework to identify the process of marriage satisfaction among 1 same-sex African American married couple and 5 heterosexual African American married couples. Six themes emerged through qualitative analysis demonstrating that marriage satisfaction is a co-constructed experience created between couples through a series of interactions cultivating healthy conditions that strengthen relationship functioning and promote well-being. Based on the results the experience of marriage satisfaction is formed by the organizing concepts of connection, intentionality, purpose, sentiments of peace, authentic communication, and well-being. Results are discussed in association with existing research, as well as, Self-Determination, and Relationship Motivation Theories.


Rashida Spence

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-9612-642X