Chinese mate selection, parental influence, focus groups, qualitative research


Traditional patterns of mate selection in Chinese societies involving arranged marriages by parents have been changing towards individual choice of a marriage partner. However, it is unclear to what extent this transition has occurred in Chinese society. The values and experiences of contemporary Chinese adults about parental influences on mate selection were addressed by conducting six focus groups in Taipei, Taiwan, which included a total of 51 participants. The results from qualitative analysis indicated that most participants did not feel obligated to have their parents' influence who they would marry. However, most of them wished for their parents to approve the marriage partner in order to maintain family harmony. A minority of participants reported that they would conform to their parents' influence on who to marry. These results indicate that contemporary Chinese adults have adopted a combination of traditional Chinese (e.g., satisfying parents' expectations) and Wester (e.g. greater personal autonomy on mate selection) values.

Original Publication Citation

*Lin, S. Y., Miller, R. B., Su-Kubricht, L. P., Whiting, J., Bean, R., Hsieh, C. H., & Li, T. S. (2019). Parental influence on mate selection in modern Chinese society. Asian Journal of Family Therapy, 3, 29-42.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Asian Journal of Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor