Faculty Spotlight

noelle st. vil.

I believe that quality marriages/relationships are critical to the health of society. Research has consistently demonstrated the numerous mental, physical, socioeconomic and social benefits of quality marriages/relationships. Yet, the quality of marriages/relationships are diminishing. I am particularly struck by the statistics on African American marriage which suggest that African Americans are less likely to get married, more likely to get divorced and more likely to experience single-mother headed households. I believe the quality of African American relationships are impacted by factors that influence all relationships in addition to a history of slavery and continued oppression. Despite the importance of this social issue, I believe social workers have largely neglected this topic. Given social workers commitment to trauma informed care, my research aims to shed light on the effects of oppression on the quality of African American relationships and to understand and challenge the way African American men and women view and interact with each other.