Chantel Haughton won the 2021 Outstanding Thesis Award from the Interpersonal Communication of the National Communication Association, for her Master’s on Resilience in Interethnic Relationships in the United States: Assessing Relationship Maintenance and Communal Orientation as Protection Against Network Stigma. Her committee was Dr. Tamara Afifi (Chair), Dr. Andy Merolla, and Dr. Jennifer Kam.
Here’s the abstract: Using the theory of resilience and relational load as a framework, this study examined whether a stress reduction or a stress buffering model best explained risk and resilience in interethnic relationships (IERs) in the United States when managing stigma from one’s social network. Eight hundred sixteen Black and Latinx individuals in heterosexual relationships with a white partner completed a survey. The stress reduction model was a better representation of individuals’ experiences in Latinx-white relationships and the stress buffering model was a better representation of individuals’ experiences in Black-white relationships. For Latinx individuals, greater relationship maintenance received from one’s white partner and stronger levels of communal orientation were associated with reductions in stigma-related stress and conflict, which in turn, were associated with better relationship satisfaction and less relational load. For Black individuals, relationship maintenance and communal orientation moderated the associations between stress/conflict and the relational outcomes, but in unexpected ways.