Tara Masseratagah, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Karen Meteyer, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Kate Evarts Rice, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Jennifer McLean, PsyD, Committee Member


perceived marginalization, intercultural couples, monocultural couples, anxiety, depression, society, social networks, pandemic, COVID-19

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As the number of intercultural couples increases in North America, the impact of perceived marginalization of these relationships on the mental health of individuals is an area that requires continued clinical understanding. This quantitative study sought to explore how anxiety and depression levels in intercultural and monocultural couples are associated with levels of perceived marginalization. Qualitative follow-up questions were used to understand the varying reasons for marginalization and support between couples. One hundred twenty-four individual participants in romantic relationships took part in this study; of this, 64 were in monocultural relationships and 60 were in intercultural relationships. This study found significant positive associations between intercultural couples’ mental health (anxiety and depression) and societal and family marginalization. Significant positive associations were seen between monocultural couples’ mental health and social network and friend marginalization. This study supports the impact that perceived marginalization of one’s romantic relationship has on mental health, and highlights qualitative comments that show the similarities and differences between couples. Notably, there were similar elevated levels of anxiety and depression between both groups for this sample. This study has clinical implications for clinicians as they should be aware of how both the dominant culture and social networks of clients affect them. In combination, clinicians must have cultural humility without assuming the roots of stressors or mental health issues for a couple or individual.


Tara Masseratagah

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-0380-1853