Marital Relationships Following the Korean Economic Crisis: Applying the Family Stress Model



In response to the recent economic crisis in Korea and its negative effects on families, the current study examined the interrelationships among economic pressure, emotional distress, marital conflict, and marital satisfaction for 236 Korean couples. The family stress model (Conger & Elder, 1994; Conger, Rueter, & Conger, 2000; Conger, Rueter, & Elder, 1999) was tested using structural equation modeling. The results generally supported the theoretical model, showing that economic pressure negatively affects marital satisfaction via emotional distress and marital conflict. The results also implied cultural differences in the process of family stress. Korean husbands' emotional distress did not affect marital conflict or marital satisfaction, suggesting that Korean husbands may differ from their wives in their reaction to emotional distress from economic pressure.