Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services


Chinese international students (CIS) have been the largest national population among international students in the United States. The study explored Chinese international students’ dating and marriage experience as well as their thoughts, feelings and values underlying their dating and marriage experience. This qualitative study employed interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA) and recruited 12 Chinese international students for individual interviews. Three major themes were concluded with IPA data analysis: 1) attitudes towards sex and romantic relationships, 2) negative and positive influences, and 3) expectations and experience regarding dating and marriage. The study found that Chinese international students had unique experiences, values, thoughts, and feelings regarding marriage and dating issues. The study also had some highlights in findings, such as presentations of acculturation/westernization, unique interpretations of romantic relationship in Western cultures, special needs for romantic relationships in the United States, CISs’ subjective definitions of westernized romantic love, and CISs’ subjective “adjustment” goals. The findings of this study would be implicative for researchers, clinicians, and professionals in higher education to gain a better understanding of Chinese international students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, August 31, 2028