Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nathan Wood


Many scholars have suggested that the division of enslaved Black people based on skin tone was one of the biggest factors that influence current intraracial tension and biases, referred to as colorism. The present study examined how colorism can affect romantic relationships through aspects of colorism, skin tone satisfaction, social comparison, racial awareness, and couples satisfaction. The present study used individual data from 46 middle income Black individuals residing in the South, who self-reported on colorism, racial identity, and relationship quality via online survey. Correlations between the key variables were examined. Correlations between colorism and skin tone satisfaction, a negative correlation between colorism and relationship satisfaction, and numerous correlations between racial identity stages, colorism, and skin tone satisfaction. This study helps to extend previously limited research on how colorism can affect romantic relationships. It is imperative scholars continue to use measures and analytical strategies that allow for an equal narrative of Black individuals with views of colorism and relationship quality

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)