Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Rhonda Neswald-Potter


The growing population of the United States is linked to the increasing migration of individuals from other countries. With migration comes the development of cross-cultural and interracial romantic relationships, many leading to marriages. This qualitative grounded theory study sought to understand how a migrant partner's adjustment process, acculturation, contributes to cross-cultural marriages. The main research question and purpose of this study was to investigate the role of acculturation in marital satisfaction among mixed Caucasian and Asian American heterosexual couples. This study utilized multiple data sources and a purposive sampling of 11 mixed Asian and Caucasian heterosexual married couples, with one partner who identified themselves as being Caucasian and U.S. born, and the other as Asian American and an immigrant to the United States. Data were coded and analyzed to identify themes and patterns that emerged from the participants' experiences. The study revealed the following emergent themes representing the couples' common acculturative stressors: (a) challenges related to English language proficiency, (b) communication styles differences, (c) cultural learning, and (d) difficulties due to the lack of social support. The findings of this study provide marriage and family counselors with important data related to how married couples experience acculturation as well as the unique stressors associated with a migrating partner's process. Implications for positive social change include information related to the development of interventions to address common acculturative stressors identified during this study, as well as data to support clinicians and clients when identifying appropriate coping strategies.