Love is Universal but Still Culturally Specific: A Model for Understanding Healthy Relationship Functioning in Intercultural Romantic Couples
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractInterracial heterosexual romantic relationships have increased in the U.S. population. Studies on interracial romantic relationships have reported higher rates of conflict, tension, stress, dissatisfaction, and long-term instability. Most studies have studied interracial couples using categorical responses of race and ethnicity yet, this limits theoretical understanding to the characteristics that make-up high quality relationships. This study represents the first attempt to explore how similarities and differences between intercultural romantic partners (i.e., partners coming from different racial, ethnic, language, and/or religious backgrounds) in culturally-based emotional attitudes and relationship goals predict effective or ineffective interpersonal emotional processes, and in turn relationship quality by testing a newly developed model called the Culturally-Based Romantic Relationship (CBR2). To test this model, 40 intercultural romantic couples were recruited from the Southwestern region of the U.S. and were asked to complete a couple’s lab session. Couples completed four-video recorded emotional conversations while their physiological responses were captured. Overall, the results provide partial support for certain paths in the CBR2 model. Theoretical models of this nature are highly essential because they can impact policy and programs that are developed for various groups of people.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences