Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Michelle Byrd, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chong Man Chow, Ph.D.

Abstract

Parenting and relational factors have been investigated thoroughly in previous literature. However, considering the proliferation of multiracial individuals in the United States, it is concerning that many cultural components of American families have been neglected, including the impact of acculturation on parenting negotiation. In particular, the acculturation gap describes differences in acculturation and enculturation levels between family members. The acculturation-gap-distress model postulates that when members within a family context acculturate at different rates, to different degrees, or in different ways than other members, this discrepancy results in conflict. The present study evaluated the relationship between inter-partner acculturation discrepancy and perceptions of co-parenting quality and marital relationship satisfaction. More specifically, this study investigated whether greater acculturation gaps between partners of intercultural families were related to lower perceived co-parenting quality and marital relationship satisfaction. The findings indicate the greater the degree of difference between partners in terms of endorsement of majority cultural beliefs, attitudes, and practices in the U.S., the lower their perceptions of relationship satisfaction and co-parenting quality. In contrast, perceptions of differences in subscription to minority or home cultural beliefs, attitudes, and practices were not related to parenting quality. In addition, nearly all (96%) respondents indicated that they or their families had experienced at least one racial microaggression of late. Further, the average number of microaggressions received in the past six months was 35, suggesting that prejudice and discrimination are significant and prevalent experiences of intercultural families.

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