Buffie Longmire-Avital and Brenda Reavis '15 co-author article in the Journal of Black Psychology

Assistant Professor Buffie Longmire-Avital and young alumna Brenda Reavis '15 have co-authored an article in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Black Psychology examining the ideal and non-negotiable characteristics emerging adult Black American women look for in potential male partners. 

“Deep like the Sea and Strong like the Earth”: Exploring the Ideal Partner Characteristics of Young Adult Heterosexual Black Women  is one of a series of published and forthcoming papers that explore the sexual health and relationship seeking behaviors of this largely under-researched population.

This mixed method study examined the responses of 128 emerging adult (18 – 29) Black American women who were asked to describe their ideal partner and what characteristics they believe are non-negotiable. The authors also examined how the young adult women’s perception of partner availability (i.e., number of potential partners and perceived challenge in meeting someone) provided a contextual framing for the types of characteristics listed and their frequency.

The findings suggest that partner selection for this sample was driven by a desire for compatibility regardless of perceived partner availability. Nearly all the women in this study listed personality and a potential for success as both ideal and non-negotiable characteristics. For women who indicated that they did not have a strong racial preference for a potential partner, sharing a similar open-minded ideology (e.g., political, religious, social) was equally important.

The Journal of Black Psychology is described as being the “leading forum on the psychological study of Black populations for more than 35 years.”

Reavis, an Honors Fellow who came to Elon from Greensboro, N.C., recently started her Master’s in Clinical Social Work at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.