Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Patricia M. Keith


The purpose of this study was to replicate Rubin's (1976) work which intensively studied family life of white American working-class people, in Korean culture, and further to extend the work to investigate the similarities and differences of the marital adjustment process between Korean working-class couples who are living with their parents (in-laws) and couples who are living independently;The sample for this research was thirty-two Korean couples who had no more than a high-school education; whose husband worked in a blue-collar occupation; and who had at least one child under twelve years. For purpose of comparison, one half of the couples selected were living with their parents (in-laws);As a method, in-depth interviews were used and at the end of the interviews, self-administered questionnaires on marital adjustment (Dyadic Adjustment Scale: Spanier, 1976) were given to the couples;This study regards marital adjustment as a process and deals with three stages of adjustment: (1) Adjustment to Marriage; (2) Adjustment to Relationships with in-laws; and (3) Adjustment to Parenthood;They are very different from Rubin's white American working-class couples on their adjustment process to parenthood. They regard the difficulty with the first child as natural to being a parent and most of them mention that their marital relationship has improved;Korean working-class wives seem to be more dissatisfied with their marriages and demand far more communication, companionship, and expression of feelings than husbands do;The marital adjustment process of Korean couples who live with their parents (in-laws) is not the same as that of those who live independently. When the living arrangement is positive, it eases the role transition to parenthood for the young couples, providing them with much help in caring for babies. On the contrary, it makes the marital adjustment process of the couples difficult, interrupting their companionship, disclosure of affection, and open discussion of marital conflicts.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Sook-Hyun Lee Choi



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

114 pages