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Exploring Out-Group Dating Preferences, Intergroup Judgements, and Outcomes of Intercultural Romantic Relationships

Allen, Courtney (2018) Exploring Out-Group Dating Preferences, Intergroup Judgements, and Outcomes of Intercultural Romantic Relationships. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:73110)

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Researchers have studied the topic of intergroup relations for decades and the majority of this research focuses on understanding the occurrence and reduction of intergroup conflict. Findings from this literature have proposed that positive intergroup contact fosters positive intergroup attitudes and behaviours. One indication that the relations between groups have improved is the number of increased intergroup friendships, demonstrating a loosening of boundaries between groups. However, statistics on intergroup dating and marriages indicate that there are significantly less intergroup romantic relationships than friendships. Although intergroup relations have improved, there is a clear distinction between having out-group friends and having intimate out-group romantic partners. The current research aimed to better understand intergroup romantic relationships by examining social psychological factors that may influence out-group dating decisions across different backgrounds (race/culture/ethnic; religious, socio-economic status) and cultural contexts (UK, US, India; Chapter 2). In Study 1, using a cross-cultural (US n = 245, UK n = 227, India n = 220) correlational design I found that social approval played a powerful role in out-group dating decisions. Therefore, across two correlational studies (Study 2, n = 241; Study 3, n = 235) I then examined bystanders' judgements towards different intergroup relationships (Chapter 3). Next, I examined consequences that may arise due to experiencing an intercultural romantic relationship. In Study 4, using a correlational design, (n = 196), I specifically investigated bicultural identity development and associated outcomes (Chapter 5). Results from this research demonstrated that social approval, social identity, direct and indirect intergroup contact, are factors that influence our out-group dating preferences. However, the extent to which they influence our decisions vary based on background category and cultural context. Additionally, I found that individuals are least willing to date out-group religious members and that interreligious romantic relationship are judged as having the least social support. Finally, I found that individuals in an intercultural romantic relationship have the ability to develop a bicultural identity and that identity is linked to positive intrapersonal outcomes. Overall, research from this thesis contributes most notably to the areas of intergroup relations and culture and provides many outlets for future work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 14:13 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 07:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Allen, Courtney.

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