Desiring marriage: A qualitative study of college-educated African American women's challenges in never being married
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the challenges that never-married, college-educated, African American women face in desiring marriage. Due to numerous barriers, college-educated, African American women, may struggle to find a suitable homogamous mate, one like them in age, race, education, and economic status. A qualitative phenomenological approach was employed to gain a deep, rich understanding of the challenges these women face. Snowball sampling techniques were employed to secure participants. The study included 15 never-married, college-educated, African American women who desire marriage. The women ranged in age from 30 to 45 years. The following question guided the research: What challenges do never-married, college-educated, African American women face in desiring marriage?
The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed to determine themes. Five themes emerged: (a) Because I am not Married, I Question Myself (b) Because I am not Married, I Question God; (c) Because I am not Married, Society Questions Me; (d) Because I am not Married, I Question Mate Availability and Suitability; and (e) Because I am not Married, I Changed My Plans and Question My Future. Based on the findings, implications for family therapists, mental health professionals, family life educators and churches are presented and recommendations for future research are offered.