Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell

Third Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Abstract

Problem. Many marital satisfaction studies have focused on many sub-groups: Caucasians, Blacks, and many ethnic groups such as Japanese, German, Polish, Indian, Chinese-American, Swedish, Mexican-American, Nigerian, and Koreans in Korea. No study was found that has investigated marital satisfaction factors for Korean-American couples.

Method. This study evaluated marital satisfaction factors that were important to Korean Americans. The Korean-American population for this study was reached through the Korean-American church organizations in America by random selection of churches.

A total of 558 surveys was usable for analyses. Of the 558 subjects, approximately 49% were husbands and 51% were wives. Three hundred forty-four surveys were from matched couples. Methods of analyses were: factor analysis, t -test for independent sample, regression analyses, and discriminant analysis.

Results. The mean score of husbands' marital satisfaction was significantly greater than that of wives. Eleven factors were found in Korean-American couples. Taken individually, all of the 11 variables were significant predictors of the marital satisfaction of Korean-American couples. The five most important factors for marital satisfaction of Korean-Americancouples were: expressing affection to each other, having sexual satisfaction, having children, keeping commitment to sexual fidelity, and sharing activities together. Other factors of communication that were significant contributors to marital satisfaction of Korean-American couples included: positive kinship relationship (with parents-in-law), positive family dynamic in her or his family of origin, self-esteem, and religious homogamy. The order of importance of the 10 factors was slightly different between husbands and wives. Maintaining an androgynous role in Korean homes was not very important.

Compared to the highly dissatisfied couples, the highly satisfied couples tended to have a higher level of expression of their affection to each other, to experience more positive attributes from having children, and to have a higher level of sexual satisfaction.

Conclusion. In summary, the four factors most important to marital satisfaction of the Korean-American wives were: expressing affection to each other, having sexual satisfaction, maintaining sexual fidelity to each other, and having children. The three factors most important to marital satisfaction of the Korean-American husbands were: expressing affection to each other, having children, and having sexual satisfaction. In varying degrees, except for androgynous gender role, all 10 factors were significant predictors of the marital satisfaction of Korean-American couples when taken individually.

Subject Area

Korean Americans--Marriage

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