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Forgiveness and Marital Satisfaction: The Experience of Expatriate Spouses in South Korea : 용서와 결혼 만족: 한국에 국외로 추방된 배우자의 경험

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Authors
프린스 차알스 어팅-보아팅
Advisor
Kim, Chang Dai
Major
교육학과
Issue Date
2012-02
Publisher
서울대학교 대학원
Abstract
ABSTRACT
The expansion and emergence of global markets have made expatriate assignments a reality for many families. Though corporate relocation reaps benefits such as financial gain and promotion on the corporate ladder, there are documented negative effects of expatriate relocation on personal lives including marriages. Unfortunately, many expatriates and their families give little or no attention to the impact of the stresses associated with relocation on their marriages. Recent research suggests that a study of the relational dynamics of expatriate spouses may be important due to conflicts that may arise as a result of the changes in the spouses mutual roles and tasks necessitated by relocation. These stresses and tensions result in conflicts that become hazardous emotional landmines that not only jeopardize the expatriate assignment, but also lead to the demise of the marriage and create personal trauma.
Research has shown that the effects of conflict include deterioration of health, withdrawal, discord and divorce. Expatriate assignment failure does not only affect families but also leads to financial loss and damage to a companys reputation. Past research findings have indicated the benefits of forgiveness for both interpersonal relationships and individual functioning. In view of the relatively high percentage of expatriate assignment failure due to spousal issues, and the associated financial and emotional cost to individuals, families and companies, research on the mediating role of forgiveness in the relationship between marital conflict and marital satisfaction could validate the efficacy of forgiveness as a potent therapeutic tool for managing marital problems and thereby promote successful expatriate assignments.
This study explores the mediating role of forgiveness in the relationship between marital conflict and marital satisfaction and its effect among expatriate spouses. The major hypotheses were: (1a) Forgiveness will mediate the effects of marital conflict on marital satisfaction; and (1b) Forgiveness will play a stronger role in marital satisfaction for Christians as compared to non-Christians. That is the effect of forgiveness on marital satisfaction will be moderated by religious affiliation.
The analysis based on Structural Equation Modeling showed that: (a) Marital conflict was directly linked to forgiveness (p = .017), and (b) Forgiveness was associated with higher marital satisfaction (p = .001). Because the path from marital conflict to marital satisfaction passes through forgiveness, forgiveness mediates part of the relationship between marital conflict and marital satisfaction. The Structural Equation Modeling also showed that: (c) The effect of forgiveness on marital satisfaction was stronger for Christians (.80) than non-Christians (.68); (d) Marital conflict directly lowered marital satisfaction (p = .055).
Furthermore, three of the seven demographic variables (working vs. trailing status, length of marriage, and the linear effect of age are associated with both forgiveness and with marital satisfaction. Specifically, trailing spouses were less satisfied (p = .026) and less forgiving
(p = .001) than working spouses; older spouses were slightly (r = .16, p < .05) more satisfied and slightly (r = .18, p < .05) more forgiving than younger spouses; and spouses in marriages less than one year and greater than 15 years were found to be more satisfied (p = .058 and p = .070 respectively) than those in relationships of intermediate length. Furthermore, consistent with previous studies, a significant relationship was found between ethnicity and forgiveness (p = .004). None of these demographic variables, however, served as a lurking variable that created a spurious correlation between forgiveness and marital satisfaction. These results suggest that forgiveness plays an important role in the maintenance of marital relationships among expatriate spouses in South Korea.

Keywords: Forgiveness, Conflict, Marital Satisfaction, Expatriate, Spouses, Couples
Student Number: 2004-30853
Language
eng
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/156215

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College of Education (사범대학)Dept. of Education (교육학과)Theses (Ph.D. / Sc.D._교육학과)
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