Loving Across Racial Lines: Associations between Gender and Partner Race and the Health of Young Adults


Miller, Byron; James, Anthony; & Roy, Roudi Nazarinia (2022). Loving Across Racial Lines: Associations between Gender and Partner Race and the Health of Young Adults. Journal of Child and Family Studies. vol. 31 (3) pp. 703-715


Not much is known about how the multiplicative effects of social position affect self-appraised health and psychological well-being. The growing prevalence of interracial relationships presses the need to understand how partner race might be associated with racial disparities in health among romantically involved people. Stress Process Theory suggests that differences in social positions (e.g., race, gender) contribute to differential exposure to stressors related to disparities in well-being. In this paper, data from Waves 3 & 4 of the Add Health dataset were used to examine the moderating effects of gender and partner race on depressive symptomatology and self-rated health of White, Black, and Hispanic young adults. Findings reveal that having a Black partner is associated with greater depressive symptomatology. Relative to White males partnered with White females however, regardless of race, women partnered with Hispanic males report the greatest depressive symptomatology, whereas women partnered with White males had the lowest. Having a Black partner was generally associated with lower self-rated health, especially for females. The lowest self-rated health was reported by Black females partnered with Hispanic males. The highest self-rated health scores were reported by men of any race partnered with Black females. Overall, our findings indicate that interracial relationships have positive and negative associations with health, but the extent of those health outcomes significantly vary by the couple’s racial composition. We highlight the need to replicate these analyses using more current and contextualized datasets to assess the health of interracial couples and to examine these associations in their complexity.





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Journal Article

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Journal of Child and Family Studies


Miller, Byron
James, Anthony
Roy, Roudi Nazarinia

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