Ethnic Identity of Russian Women in Interethnic Marriages and its Relationship with Their Attachment to Spouses and Separation from Parents

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The article presents a comparative study of the types of ethnic identity in conjunction with the styles of attachment in a couple and separation from the parental family of women who are in intercultural and monocultural marriages. The main sample consisted of 198 Russian women aged 21 to 55 years ( M = 36.1), including 84 women married to representatives of their own culture and living in Russia and 114 women married to representatives of the titular nationality of one of six European countries and living in the countries of their husbands. The study involved the following methods: “Multi-Item Measure of Adult Romantic Attachment - MIMARA”, adapted by T.L. Kryukova, O.A. Ekimchik; “Attachment to Close People Inventory” (N.V. Sabelnikova, D.V. Kashirsky); “Questionnaire of psychological separation” by J. Hoffman, adapted by T.Yu. Sadovnikova, V.P. Dzukaeva; and “Method for diagnosing types of ethnic identity” (G.U. Soldatova, S.V. Ryzhova). In general, the results of the study show that for women in interethnic marriages living in a foreign cultural environment, attachment to both their parents and husbands is more secure and positive, whereas the style of ethnic identity is more extreme and is associated with internal conflict. Women from intercultural marriages revealed different features of ethnic identity depending on the length of their marriage. It is shown that the style of ethnic identity is closely connected with attachment relationships. For women in monoethnic marriages living in their native country, it is more associated with separation from their parents but, for women in interethnic marriages living in a foreign country, it is to a greater extent associated with attachment to their husbands. In both cases, positive ethnic identity is associated with insecure attachment and dependence on their parents and husbands, while extreme forms of ethnic identity are associated with secure attachment and personal autonomy in relationships. The results of this study allow the specialists to take into account the specific social situation of interethnic couples more accurately in the course of psychological, social and other assistance to such couples, to develop constructive ways of discussing and maintaining cultural differences in the couple.

About the authors

Elena Yu. Chebotareva

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Psychology, is Associate Professor of the Department of Child and Family Psychotherapy

29 Sretenka St., Moscow, 127051, Russian Federation; 20 Myasnitskaya St., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Mira A. Konina Project


Head of the Project

13 Nezhinskaya St., Moscow, 119517, Russian Federation

Alla S. Rudenko

National Research University Higher School of Economics


student of master program “Systemic Family Psychotherapy”

20 Myasnitskaya St., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2020 Chebotareva E.Y., Konina M.A., Rudenko A.S.

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