Couple relationship standards and migration: Comparing Hong Kong Chinese with Australian Chinese

Kim Halford, P.W.L. Leung, C. Hung-Cheung, L. Chau-Wan, D. Hiew, Fons van de Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Rates of international migration are increasing, which raises the question of how migration might influence couple relationship standards and impact on the standards of migrants forming intercultural relationships. We compared relationship standards in n = 286 Chinese living in Hong Kong, China with standards in n = 401 Chinese migrants to a Western country (Australia) by administering the Chinese-Western Intercultural Couple Standards Scale (CWICSS). We also compared these two groups to n = 312 Westerners living in Australia. We first tested the structural invariance of the CWICSS across the three samples with a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. There was marginal but acceptable fit of a model of two positively correlated latent factors: Couple Bond (with four indicators, such as demonstration of love and caring) and Family Responsibility (also with four indicators, such as extended family relations and preserving face). Within the limitations of the study, results suggest migration is associated predominantly with differences in women’s but not men’s relationship standards. Migrant Chinese women show alignment of Couple Bond standards toward Western standards, and conversely greater distance away from Western standards with stronger endorsement of Family Responsibility standards. Discussion focused on how migration and intercultural relationship experiences might differentially influence different domains of relationship standards, gender differences in migration effects on standards, and the implications for working with culturally diverse couples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1011
JournalFamily Process
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Couple relationship
  • Western
  • Chinese
  • Relationship Standards


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