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Intercultural Romantic Relationships: Parent-Child Attitudes and Conflict across Ethnic Groups and Immigrant Generations

  • Shenhav, Sharon
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
eScholarship - University of California
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Romantic relationships are situated within broader cultural and family contexts, and this may be particularly salient to those in intergroup relationships. This study examined young adults’ experiences with intercultural romantic relationships within the family context. A sample of ethnically diverse young adults (N = 628; Asian, Latino, and European background) reported on self and parent attitudes toward intercultural dating, own current dating status, and disapproval and conflict with parents over current and past dating status. Findings showed the importance of including cultural variations into the conceptualization of intergroup relationships, particularly for ethnic minority and recent immigrant groups. Variations by ethnic group and immigrant generational status were found across study aims. Participants of Asian background reported greater attitudinal discrepancies over intercultural dating with their parents, as well as greater rates of intercultural dating conflict with parents, than did participants of Latino background. First- and second-generation participants reported greater levels of intercultural dating conflict with parents than did third-generation participants. No differences were found by ethnic group or generational status for resolving conflict with parents over intercultural romantic relationships, however young adult men reported resolving conflict significantly more than young adult women. Findings show that the family context in response to intercultural dating relationships is important and varied across ethnic and generational status groups, and have implications for how we conceptualize intergroup romantic relationships.

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