Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



The existing literature on religion and family indicates that religious beliefs and practices are correlated with various aspects of marriage and family life. Chinese immigrants are an important part of the U.S. population. However, very little is known about the relationship between religion and marriage for Chinese immigrants. The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between Christianity and marriage in Chinese immigrant families based on in-depth qualitative interviews. Sixteen highly religious Chinese Christian couples were interviewed to examine how religious faith influenced their perceptions of marriage and family life. Most of the participants in this study held advanced graduate degrees. Their ages ranged from 28-66, and the number of children ranged from one to four. Grounded theory methods (including open coding and axial coding) were applied to analyze the data. Based on my interview data, five central, emergent themes were indentified: 1) Moving from atheism to theism: “God is love;” 2) Changing perceptions of marriage: “Marriage is established by God;” 3) The importance of shared faith: “Equally yoked;” 4) Challenges with religious faith; and 5) A new priority: “Put God first.” Supporting qualitative data was presented in connection with each of these five themes. Implications for research and practice related to Chinese immigrants’ marriage and family in the U.S. are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Marks, Loren



Included in

Human Ecology Commons