Why Has Marriage Declined among Black Americans?

Dawne Mouzon, Rutgers University

The institution of marriage is faltering in the United States, especially among black Americans. Culture is not the cause, Mouzon argues, because black women value marriage even more highly than whites. Boosting the economic prospects of black men can make them more willing and attractive marital partners.

Read Mouzon's brief, which draws from her to-be-published book chapter, What White People Think They Know (and Many People of Color Aren't Totally Clear on Either), edited by Cherise Harris and Nikki Khanna (Sage Publications).

In addition to her work on racial differences in marriage, Dawne Mouzon does wide-ranging research on gender and racial trends in mental health and access to mental health care and benefits. She explores the surprising "race paradox" in mental health – the unexpected finding that black Americans often have better mental health outcomes than whites, despite the greater burdens of socioeconomic disadvantage and social discrimination black people experience.

December 2013