The prospective research extends a longitudinal prospective study that was designed to delineate processes that generally underlie positive development of marital relationships for a representative urban sample of black and white couples affect the mental and physical health of spouses, marital stability, long-term marital outcomes, patterns of family life, and those who divorce, individual adjustment to family disruption.
The specific aims are: (1) to extend and consolidate information thus far obtained from interviews over a seven year period and from the tracking phase of the study, and (2) to obtain and analyze another wave of data for this longitudinal sample.
Both aims will examine: the interplay between culture, structure and interpersonal factors in adaptation of spouses individually and to each other; the significance of couples' accounts for understanding marital and parental experiences; the ways in which black men and organize their life compared to white men and women; and how early marital processes affect later adjustments to divorce. It is estimated that 175 married couples will be interviewed in the sixteenth year of marriage and at least 192 individuals whoa re presently divorced rom their original EYM spouse (both members of 789 divorced couples and one member for, 36 divorced couples). The tracking phase of the project was successful; we located 80% of the original sample (71% of the black respondents; 90% of the white respondents These percentages were better than expected and are consistent with other longitudinal studies. As a result of the tracking project, we also have marital status information on 93.4% of the original sample. By and large, the procedures in the sixteenth year will be identical to the first, third, and seventh year data collection procedures for all married couples. A new narrative procedure will be introduced for those respondents who are divorced from their original EYM spouse prior to the sixteenth year, focusing on reasons for divorce, long-term coping and adjustment, and children's well-being. For both married and divorced respondents, we will also gather respondents' retrospective reports of Year 1 family adaptation issues with the original EYM spouse.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-1 (01))
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
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Ann Arbor
United States
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Birditt, Kira S; Wan, Wylie H; Orbuch, Terri L et al. (2017) The development of marital tension: Implications for divorce among married couples. Dev Psychol 53:1995-2006
Peterson, Lance T; Orbuch, Terri L; Brown, Edna (2014) Perceived Admiration and Transition to Parenthood for Black and White Married Couples. J Fam Soc Work 17:301-323
Orbuch, Terri L; Bauermeister, José A; Brown, Edna et al. (2013) Early Family Ties and Marital Stability Over 16 Years: The Context of Race and Gender. Fam Relat 62:255-268
Birditt, Kira S; Brown, Edna; Orbuch, Terri L et al. (2010) Marital Conflict Behaviors and Implications for Divorce over 16 Years. J Marriage Fam 72:1188-1204