Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Research on bicultural couples has mainly been conducted in the USA and is primarily focused on interracial couples. The main challenge for biracial couples according literature on the subject is dealing with racism (Batson et al., 2006; Bischoff, 2005; Bratter & King, 2008; Firmin & Firebaugh, 2008; Hibbler & Shinew, 2002; Jacobson & Heaton, 2008; Kalmijn & van Tubergen, 2006; Killian, 2003; Thompson & Collier, 2006; Yancey, 2007). Few studies address cultural differences (Rodríguez García, 2006), including dating/cohabiting bicultural couples (Firmin & Firebaugh, 2008; Yancey, 2007). In China, the bicultural couple rate is increasing along with the immigrant flow. Unfortunately the divorce rate among the bicultural couples is similarly rising (De- Hart & Zhang, 2010; Li, 2004). Although the non-Chinese members of the bicultural relationship in China can come from various nations, very few empirical studies have been conducted in English on this group. Results from the literature suggest that individuals entering bicultural relationships are often motivated by factors such as physical or sexual attraction (Blakely, 1999), curiosity (Morgan, 2007), or to complement or avoid negative same-culture traits (Constable, 2003; Morgan). For the Chinese partner, in addition, avoiding a controlling Chinese mother in-law has been listed as a motivation factor (Lim, 2011). Furthermore, a common Western assumption is that Asians mainly show an interest in forming romantic bicultural relationships in order to acquire a foreign passport and financial benefits, whereas there is a Western notion of Western males forming relationships with Asian women in order to find submissive females (Constable). Pan (2000), however discovered a new trend whereby, as a result of China’s economic growth, Chinese males are growing in popularity and are now regarded as financially resourceful. Same-culture couples have in previous studies been found to have the greatest satisfaction level (Fu, Tora & Kendall, 2001). Complications addressed as some of the main reasons to avoid bicultural relationships are associated with cultural differences (Morgan, 2007) and language barriers (Constable, 2003; Morgan, 2008). Additional factors impacting the bicultural couples include: culturally defined variances in gender roles (Kalmijn & van Tubergen, 2007; Morgan, 2008, Qian, 1997; Rodríguez García, 2006), geographical location (South and town area) (Johnson & Jacobson, 2005; Killian, 2003),

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