DOI: 10.1111/pere.12520 ISSN:

Acculturative stress while online dating: An exploration of the experiences of second generation Indian and Pakistani immigrants in the United Kingdom

Zeba Khadhijah, Nuno Nodin
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Social Psychology


The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the acculturative stress experienced by second generation Indian and Pakistani young adults in the United Kingdom, who use online dating services—a practice common in Western cultures but unapproved in traditional South Asian cultures. Semi‐structured in‐depth interviews were conducted with six participants who were recruited through purposive sampling. Interview transcripts were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings indicate that while it is exposure to Western culture that influences participants to engage in online dating, it is their native cultural values that affect most of their online dating attitudes and behaviors such as preference for ethnically congruent partners, avoidance of casual sexual encounters, and expectations of slow‐paced and long‐term relationships. These findings are discussed as strategies used by participants to integrate different cultural orientations and manage their acculturative stress, based on Berry's (2003) Acculturation Model. This study contributes toward expanding literature in the field of cultural psychology and romantic relationships, by adding to an understanding of the pressures and challenges experienced by those navigating differing and often opposing sets of social and cultural norms, in the context of modern online dating.

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