Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 157–167 | Cite as

Contributors Influencing Marital Conflicts Between a Korean Husband and a Japanese Wife

  • Tai-Young ParkEmail author
  • Yangjin Park
Original Paper


This study explored the contributors that influenced the marital conflict between a Korean husband and a Japanese wife. The study found three triggering events and latent contributors in personal, familial, social and cultural levels. Although the three events triggered marital conflicts, the latent contributors were fundamentally maintaining and aggravating the couple’s relationship. As a result, this study suggests that when family therapists counsel interracially married Asian couples, it is necessary to address cultural differences in families of origin, communication methods, and transference along with the cultural disparities.


Marital conflict Triggering events Latent contributors Asian couples Families of origin Communication Transference 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Regarding the research ethics, the participants agreed to the use of their counseling verbatim for the academic purpose, and their personal information was deleted for their privacy protection. All procedures of the study were approved by the university institutional review board (IRB) for human research.


  1. Bryant, C. M., Conger, R. D., & Meehan, J. M. (2001). The influence of in-laws on change in marital success. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(3), 614–626. Scholar
  2. Chen, Z., Tanaka, N., Uji, M., Hiramura, H., Shikai, N., Fujihara, S., & Kitamura, T. (2007). The role of personalities in the marital adjustment of Japanese couples. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 35(4), 561–572. Scholar
  3. Cheon, H. J., & Kim, Y. H. (2007). Differences in marital and divorce process between married and divorced people. Korean Journal of Family Welfare, 12(3), 5–23.Google Scholar
  4. Cho, S. K., & Choi, U. S. (2006). The relationship of traits of family of origin, marital conflicts and the needs for counseling among married couples in early stage of marriage. Journal of Korean Home Management Association, 24(5), 17–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hayashi, C., & Suzuki, T. (1984). Changes in belief systems, quality of life issues and social conditions over 25 years in post-war Japan. Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 36(1), 135–161. Scholar
  6. Igarashi, T., Kashima, Y., Kashima, E. S., Farsides, T., Kim, U., Strack, F., … Yuki, M. (2008). Culture, trust, and social networks. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 11(1), 88–101. Scholar
  7. Jo, J. Y., & Park, T. Y. (2011). Marital therapy with a conflictual couple preparing for divorce. Korean Journal of Family Therapy, 19(2), 41–62. Scholar
  8. Karis, T. A., & Killian, K. D. (2008). Intercultural couples: Exploring diversity in intimate relationships. New York: Routledge. Scholar
  9. Killian, K. D. (2013). Interracial couples, intimacy and therapy: Crossing racial borders. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Killian, K. D. (2015). Couple therapy and intercultural relationships. In A. S. Gurman, J. L. Lebow & D. K. Snyder (Eds.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (pp. 512–528). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kim, Y. S. (1998). A contextual comparison between the Korean and American families. Korean Journal of Family Therapy, 6(1), 1–13.Google Scholar
  12. Kim, B. L. C., & Ryu, E. (2005). Korean families. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano & N. Garcia-Preto (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (pp. 349–362). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  13. Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations. (2002). Summary of counseling statistical analysis. Family Counseling, 3, 5–7.Google Scholar
  14. Kozu, J. (1999). Domestic violence in Japan. American Psychologist, 54(1), 50–54. Scholar
  15. Ledermann, T., Bodenmann, G., Rudaz, M., & Bradbury, T. N. (2010). Stress, communication, and marital quality in couples. Family Relations, 59(2), 195–206. Scholar
  16. Lee, M. Y., & Mjelde-Mossey, L. (2004). Cultural dissonance among generations: A solution-focused approach with East Asian elders and their families. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(4), 497–513. Scholar
  17. Maeda, U. (1996). Filial piety and the care of aged parents in Japan. Hong Kong Journal of Gerontology, 10, 126–129.Google Scholar
  18. Maruyama, H., Ujiie, T., Takai, J., Takahama, Y., Sakagami, H., Shibayama, M., … Moriizumi, S. (2015). Cultural difference in conflict management strategies of children and its development: Comparing 3-and 5-year-olds across China, Japan, and Korea. Early Education and Development, 26(8), 1210–1233. Scholar
  19. Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaῆa, J. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Moon, S. S., Kim, I. J., Kim, Y., K., & Kim, M. J. (2012). Understanding of multicultural families. Paju: Idam Book.Google Scholar
  21. Park, T. Y., Kim, H. S., & Kim, T. H. (2010). A case study on the family therapy for couples experiencing conflicts with husbands’ family of origin. Korean Association of Family Relations, 15(3), 43–66.Google Scholar
  22. Park, T. Y., & Kim, S. H. (2012). A case study on the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention for marital conflict resolution. Korean Journal of Family Welfare, 17(1), 31–60.Google Scholar
  23. Park, T. Y., & Kim, S. H. (2013). A case analysis of family therapy for a pastor’s wife with the inclination to divorce. Korean Journal of Family Welfare, 18(2), 5–39.Google Scholar
  24. Park, T. Y., & Moon, J. H. (2010). Family therapy with a couple threatening divorce. Korean Journal of Family Therapy, 18(1), 27–61. Scholar
  25. Shibusawa, T. (2005). Japanese families. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano & N. Garcia-Preto (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (pp. 339–348). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  26. Shim, D. Y., Lee, D. B., & Park, T. Y. (2016). Familial, social, and cultural factors influencing panic disorder: Family therapy case of Korean wife and American husband. The American. Journal of Family Therapy, 44(3), 129–142. Scholar
  27. Song, S. J. (2001). Korean culture and family therapy. Seoul: Bummoonsa.Google Scholar
  28. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  29. Yi, J. S., & Park, S. (2003). Cross-cultural differences in decision-making styles: A study of college students in five countries. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 31(1), 35–47. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WelfareSoongsil UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.New York University Silver School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations