Project Documents

Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Peter Swanson

Second Advisor

John Youngberg

Third Advisor

Emilo Garcia-Marenko

Abstract

Problem

Most Chinese immigrants have experienced a great cultural shock in North America, and have been influenced by Western materialism and secularism. Their marriages and families are also affected by the environment and the secular society. Since Chinese Adventists in North America are exposed to secular influences, the traditional perception of marriage is undermined.

Method

Surveys were mailed to approximately a thousand individuals in Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Churches and Companies in North America. Additional surveys were hand-delivered to Church members. There was no attempt made to select a sample from the population in a random fashion. Consequently, the findings should not be used to draw generalized conclusions. The returned surveys were examined, and frequencies and percentages of responses to items were reported.

Conclusion

Surveys were returned by 108 respondents, most of whom were 50 years of age or older. From the responses to a fairly broad range of items, it seems clear that first-generation Chinese Adventists have retained much of their cultural heritage. The extent to which secularism has impacted their religious values is difficult to assess with any degree of accuracy, however their responses suggest some discrepancies among Adventist teachings and respondents' views on pre-marital sex, divorce, remarriage, and abortion. While the divorce rate among respondents appears to be very low when compared to the general population, there are indications that changes in the traditional roles of husbands and wives, and wide variety of areas of marital conflict may be contributing factors to the reported decline of marital satisfaction among about a quarter of the respondents. There was a high percentage of agreement on an array of items that suggests that most respondents were happy in their marriages.

Subject Area

Chinese--United States--Marriage customs and rules; Chinese--United States--Religious life; Chinese-Americans--Marriage customs and rites; Chinese-Americans--Religious life

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