School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Mollie Evans Boyd


intercultural marriage, success, dissolution, phenomenology, degree of involvement, cultural differences, challenges




The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of intercultural couples’ devotion to their cultures and how it influenced the success or dissolution of their marriages. The theories guiding this study included cultural attachment and intersubjectivity. The cultural attachment theory helps couples explore their childhood experiences because not all attachment is solid and dependable. Intersubjectivity theory suggests that every person is influenced by their friends, family members, and surrounding culture. Worldwide, when couples enter a relationship straying away from their culture instead of staying connected to their native culture, intercultural couples face a dilemma. However, when intercultural couples’ maintain some degree of involvement or connection with their respective cultures, there is minimal research into partners’ experiences. Via purposeful sampling of individuals who have been in intercultural marriages, the study examined the lived experiences of 14 individuals’ attachment to their respective cultures and its influence on the success or dissolution of their marriages. This study primarily targeted intercultural couples living in the United States; however, due to the advancement of technology, the study was opened virtually to others on social media. This study gave insight into the advantages and disadvantages of intercultural couples’ choices of devotion to their respective cultures in their relationships, which facilitated developing procedures and models to encourage an equitable level of connection to one’s cultural background in an intercultural marriage. Data collection for this study included demographic surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus group interview, and a reflective journal. After the data was collected, it was analyzed using Hurssel’s transcendental framework.

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