The objective of the current research is to provide a basic framework for understanding the dynamics of Iranian marriage as women acculturate into Western norms and the implications of these experiences for those who work with them in their adjustment process. With the growing population of Iranian immigrants in the United States there is a need to understand the behaviors and values of the Iranian culture and how the culture gets transformed through socialization within the context of North America. It is crucial that a clinician understand the cultural background when working with Iranian couples in order to minimize judgment and pathology.

An interpretative phenomenological methodological approach is used to develop a more complete understanding of the relational and familial dynamics among Iranian American women in their marriages and the evolving meaning of marriage as they acculturate in the North American context. Fourteen participants were targeted to complete face-to-face interviews for the present study. A phenomenological approach was used to group the participants’ descriptions into units of meaning. These units of meaning provided the researcher with clusters of themes describing what makes Iranian marriage successful. The researcher then derived multiple theme clusters from the interview results, which provided descriptions of Iranian women’s experiences and perceptions of marriage as they experience them. The study has important implications for research, theory, and practice with this population.

LLU Discipline

Marital and Family Therapy


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Fox, Curtis A.

Second Advisor

Lyles, Lolita

Third Advisor

Oloo, Winetta

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Marriage - Cross-cultural studies; Acculturation; Iranian American Women; Ethnic Groups - Psychology; Cultural Characteristics; Cross-cultural Comparison

Subject - Local

Iranian marriage; Western norms; Couples therapy; Socialization within North American context; Relational and familial dynamics



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives