Erin Brummett

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Melanie Laliker

Degree Award Date

Spring 2008


Interracial Dating, Nontraditional Romantic Relationships, College Campus, dating, difficulties


Family, Life Course, and Society | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology


Current research related to interracial romantic relationships focuses on intermixing within marital unions and the challenges that interracial couples have faced due to societal opposition {Tucker & Mitchell-Kernan, 1990; Foeman & Nance, 1999). It lacks, however, explanation of difficulties that youth involved in interracial relationships experience in the 21st century. This study examines the experiences of college students who are dating interracially to fill the gap in research that currently exists.

Interviews were conducted with six couples who provided detail surrounding their experiences with dating (and marrying) interracially in respect to 1) each other, 2) their family members and friends, 3) the Bridgewater College campus including students, faculty, and staff, and 4) their local communities.

Most couples followed the framework of stages that Foeman and Nance (1999) discuss in their model of interracial relationship development. By practicing maintenance methods described in the Foeman and Nance model, interracial couples that are initiated in a college setting can work on maintaining their relationships in social settings beyond the college environment.