Exploration of Factors in Inter-cultural Relationships: A Qualitative Study

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Shelly Smith-Acuña

Second Advisor

Fernand Lubuguin

Third Advisor

Dellena Aguilar


Inter-cultural couples, Cross-cultural couples, Couples therapy, Cultural differences


The present qualitative study aimed to better understand the process of negotiating a couple culture for intercultural couples through a phenomenological approach. Three intercultural couples were interviewed using a semi-structured interview. Two rounds of reviews resulted in the identification of a phenomenon involving the process of adjustment in an intercultural relationship. Factors that were found to play a role in this process included respect for the other’s culture, acculturation of partners to each other’s culture, and individualistic and collectivistic variables. Furthermore, implications for therapy with intercultural couples are discussed, along with limitations and recommendations for further research.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


48 pages

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