Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Maureen Perry-Jenkins

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Multicultural Psychology


Within the United States, there has been a significant rise in multiracial families and biracial children. Approximately 17% of marriages occur between spouses of different races and/or ethnicities while 1 out of every 7 children born identify as multiracial. In light of the growing number of racially and ethnically diverse families, it is of concern that interracial couples are at heightened risk for divorce or separation compared to monoracial couples. Little research has explored why these disparities exist. Poorer relational outcomes in multiracial families may be the result of heightened conflict caused by a greater difference in partners’ values and beliefs. Using a nationally representative sample of interracial and monoracial couples, the present study examines difference in partners’ gender ideology and beliefs about multiculturalism as possible mechanisms that explain the differential outcomes in relationship quality for interracial couples. Specifically, this study examines how the racial and ethnic composition of a couples (i.e., same versus different racial/ethnic backgrounds) is directly related to relational outcomes, and also examines how gender ideology and multicultural values serve as mechanisms linking couple composition to relationship outcomes. Results indicated that gender ideology and differences in multicultural values moderate the relationship between couple type and relational outcome. Women in interracial couples who shared similar multicultural values with their partner were more likely to report greater satisfaction. Further, more traditional gender ideologies were related to men’s lower satisfaction and love in interracial couples compared to monoracial couples. Study results highlight the important role of gender ideology and multicultural values in understanding discrepant findings for relationship quality among interracial couples.


Available for download on Friday, September 01, 2023