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Taehan Kanho. 1989 Aug 31;28(3):83-92.

[Mental conflict of urban Korean housewives--a qualitative analysis of 20 interviews].

[Article in Korean]


This study analysed marital conflicts, related factors, and adjustments to those conflicts described by urban Korean women. The purpose was to discover directions for resolutions that would enhance the helpfulness of volunteers or professionals working with women in counselling settings. The investigator interviewed 20 married women, all mothers and housewives living in Seoul, attending marriage encounter programs and the Lifeline telephone counselling service. An interview schedule using six open-ended questions guided the data collection which took place between May 31 and December 29, 1988. Content analysis of the data revealed, in order of reported frequency, the following areas of conflict: relationships between husband wife, relationships with children, relationships between the wife and her mother-in-Law, unsatisfied sexual needs, the husband's extra marital relationships, lack of self actualization and financial matters. Analysis of the data suggested the following factors were related to the conflicts: reasons for marriage, traditional views about marriage and divorce including to accept a marriage arranged by the parents, the husband's traditional attitude toward the sex role of the wife, the husband's patriarchal authoritarianism, and his attitude toward the wife's employment outside the home. The women thought these conflicts severely affected their relationships within the family, particularly with their children. Literature suggests links with such poor parent-child-family relationships and adolescent or young people's social problems. Volunteers or professionals working with married women in counselling situations need to be conscious of the possibility of these conflicts during assessment, and direct their guidance toward such conflict resolution. The researcher makes several suggestions which include the need for the husband to give emotional support to his wife, to recognize the worth of housework, to share the work of the home, to find ways to enhance the wife's self-actualization and to ease dreary housework routines by providing modern appliances.

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