Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Communication and Information

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Laura Stafford

Abstract

Forced by the atrocities of war from their native country, Bosnian families came to United States seeking refuge and a new life. Immigrating to a new country, however, involves the process of acculturation which can dilute many native practices. Like many refugees that immigrated, Bosnians sought to adapt to the American way of life, while keeping their traditional ethnic customs, practices, and religion (Val & Iain-Walker, 2003). Many Bosnian refugee parents worked to keep the Bosnian practices prevalent in their first and second generation Bosnian American children. By doing so, Bosnian parents imbedded into their children the original customs, practices, and traditions of the Bosnian culture. Moreover, they raised their children to have great pride in their native country. Part of keeping the native culture alive, as an adult child of a refugee, involved marrying someone of the same ethnic and religious background (Inman, Howard, Beaumont, &Walker, 2007). Using Communication Acculturation Theory, this study examined the relationship between the degree of acculturation of Bosnian refugees in the United States and their preference and stress level in relational partner selection taking into consideration parental pressure and ethnic group community expectations. Results from this study find that acculturation is negatively correlated with the preference for a Bosnian mate but only the amount of interpersonal intimate communication the Bosnian members has with Bosnians and non-Bosnians is indicative of any mate selection stress experienced. Further, ethnic group community expectations and parental pressure are positively correlated with preference for a Bosnian mate, but only the expectations of the ethnic group and not pressure from parents was correlated with any stress the individual feels to find a Bosnian mate.

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