Language Acculturation, Acculturation-Related Stress, and Marital Quality in Chinese American Couples

Yang Hou, Lisa A. Neff, Su Yeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examines the longitudinal indirect pathways linking language acculturation to marital quality. Three waves of data were collected from 416 Chinese American couples for 8 years (Mage.wave1 = 48 for husbands, 44 for wives). Actor–partner interdependence model analyses revealed that for both husbands and wives, lower levels of language acculturation were associated with higher levels of stress over being stereotyped as a perpetual foreigner. Individuals' foreigner stress, in turn, was directly related to greater levels of their own and their partners' marital warmth, suggesting that foreigner stress may have some positive relational effects. However, individuals' foreigner stress also was associated with increases in their own depressive symptoms, which predicted higher levels of marital hostility in the partner. Overall, these results underscore the complexity of how language acculturation and foreigner stress relate to marital quality and the importance of considering the interdependence of the marital system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-568
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this research was provided through awards to Su Yeong Kim from (a) the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 5R03HD051629-02; (b) the Office of the Vice President for Research Grant/Special Research Grant from the University of Texas at Austin; (c) the Jacobs Foundation Young Investigator Grant; (d) the American Psychological Association Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, Promoting Psychological Research and Training on Health Disparities Issues at Ethnic Minority Serving Institutions Grant; (e) the American Psychological Foundation/Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology, Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Grant; (f) the California Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Extended Education Fund; (g) the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Massachusetts Avenue Building Assets Fund; and (h) the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 5R24HD042849-14 grant awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 National Council on Family Relations

Keywords

  • Asian Americans
  • acculturation
  • and/or resiliency
  • coping
  • dyadic/couple data
  • longitudinal
  • marriage
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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