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The Korean Journal of Woman Psychology

A comparative study of middle-aged women's marital conflict resolution strategies and family structures in Japan and South Korea


In this research, relationships between middle-aged-wife-perceived family structure and marital conflict resolution strategies in Japan and South Korea were examined, and their national differences were discussed with a socio-cultural perspective. For this purpose, intimacy and power between father, mother, and child, and wives’ conflict resolution strategies were surveyed. The results were as follow. First, t-test of intimacy and power showed that family structures in Korea and Japan were characterized by father-centered close adhesion based on Confucian family views that respect father’s power, and by mother’s strong power over children based on individualization in family and increase in wife’s socioeconomic status, respectively. Second, comparison of five conflict resolution showed difference between Koreans and Japanese, probably due to different self-construals; Subjectivity-developed Koreans preferred asserting and yielding with a self-manifesting view, while objectivity-developed Japanese did avoiding and compromising with a self-regulating view. Additionally, Koreans’ and Japanese’ correlations between marital conflict resolution strategies revealed that meaning of yielding differs in the two nations, to leave the necessity of attending to national characteristics beyond the dichotomy of individualism-collectivism. Third, two-way ANOVA of conflict resolution strategies with nations and four family structures as independent variables showed that family’s high intimacy and father’s weak power were found effective in deriving wife’s compromising and cooperation. Overall, it was concluded that both nations’ socio-cultural backgrounds affected marital conflict resolution strategies, and that friendly equalitarian relationships are needed to induce wife’s constructive strategies.

middle-aged women, marital conflict, conflict resolution strategies, family structure, Korea and Japan comparative study, 중년기여성, 부부갈등, 갈등해결전략, 가족구조, 한일 비교



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The Korean Journal of Woman Psychology