The rate of divorce for first marriages is slightly higherfor interracial couples than it is for couples that marrywithin their race. Many interracial and interethniccouples attend marriage/relationship education(MRE) workshops because they experiencerelationship challenges that are related to their racial/ethnic background. People/families from differentparts of the world can have diverse opinions ongender and family roles, acceptable relationshipswith friends, childrearing practices, money values,and emotional expressiveness, among others. Whileall couples have issues to negotiate, interracialcouples may exhibit more differences and a widerspectrum of expectations. The purpose of this TipSheet is to give marriage educators a foundation forunderstanding the unique experiences, as well aspotential stressors, faced by interracial couples andoffer tips for addressing them in class.It is important to note that in the context of this TipSheet, the terms interracial and interethnic are usedinterchangeably. An individual's race is determinedby phenotypic characteristics such as skin color, hairtype and other physical features. Racial categoriesare controversial since they rely on biologicaldifferences and society tends to over-generalize thecharacteristics of each race. An individual's ethnicityrefers to his or her subscription to the customs andtraditions of his or her heritage, including race, cultureand religion. One might embrace multiple ethnicitiesconcurrently, and emphasize one over the other atdifferent points during his or her lifetime.The following tips can help marriage educators betterunderstand and serve interracial couples. (Author abstract)
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