Decision Making Processes Within Educated Intercultural Couple’s in Australia
In recent years, the world–wide phenomena of globalization and increasingly flexible social norms; have contributed to more widespread intercultural relationships, particularly in multicultural societies.Current literature on intercultural relationships suggests that they are at a high risk of failure, with higher divorce rates and lower marital satisfaction reported than for same culture marriages. However, few studies have examined how intercultural couples have successfully negotiated important family decisions to remain married with high marital satisfaction. A review of the literature revealed that information on intercultural couples, decision-making processes, and cross-cultural adjustment is scarce, motivating the need for research in this area. This study focuses directly on successful intercultural couples‟ decision making processes by a selected small sample of highly educated, professional, higher socio-economic status couples from different cultural backgrounds who have developed harmonious relationships, living and nurturing their children in regional Australia. Interviews revealed that, although cultural differences were clearly evident between the couples, these differences did not prevent effective decision making amongst intercultural couples. Couples reported that developing common values plus working towards agreed goals and learning about the other person‟s culture, providing support and open communications were the keys to success. Couples often focused on what was best for the family when making decisions. These couples displayed positive attitudes of commitment to their marriage and each other, and a firm belief that they were not that different from their partner, despite cultural differences. Keywords: Cultural differences, Decision Making Processes, Intercultural Couples.