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Korean J Fam Med. 2019 Jan;40(1):31-38. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.17.0059. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

Relationship between Health Behaviors and Marital Adjustment and Marital Intimacy in Multicultural Family Female Immigrants.

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Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.



This study analyzed the relationship between health behaviors and marital adjustment in multicultural couples to evaluate their health status.


Married couples (70 Korean men and their immigrant wives) completed a structured interview on health behaviors and sociodemographic factors, the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS), and the Marital Intimacy Scale. Based on the cutoff value of the RDAS, respondents were classified into two groups: high or low dyadic adaptation groups. The collected data were compared with health behavior regarding smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, and weight.


The odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) by logistic regression with adjustment for age, educational level, career, occupation, length of residence in Korea, nationality, religion, age difference between couple, number of children, monthly income, and proficiency in Korean was 1.279 (1.113-1.492) for unhealthy exercise and 1.732 (1.604-1.887) for unhealthy body weight in female immigrants with low marital adjustment. In Korean husbands with low marital adjustment, the OR (95% CI) was 1.625 (1.232-2.142) for smoking and 1.327 (1.174- 1.585) for unhealthy exercise. No significant relationship was found between marital intimacy and health behaviors in female immigrants or Korean husbands.


More desirable health behaviors were observed in highly adapted couples. Therefore, family physicians should be concerned with marital adjustment and other associative factors to evaluate and improve multicultural couples' health status.


Cultural Diversity; Emigrants and Immigrants; Family; Health Behavior; Marital Status

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