Contextual Factors in Conflicts in Multicultural Mother and Daughter In-law Relationships: A Qualitative Approach with Dyadic In-depth Interviews

Hyekyung Kang, Seongyeon Auh
2014 Family and Environment Research  
The in-law relationship traditionally plays a major role in Korean marriages and families because parents-inlaw prefer to stay with their son under the same roof. The recent spike in the number of intercultural matches in South Korea may be provoking changes in the traditional family experience. The object of this qualitative study was to explore the contextual factors causing conflicts between mothers-in-law and their daughtersin-law in multicultural families. Six mother and daughter in-law
more » ... daughter in-law dyads from rural areas of South Korea were recruited and interviewed. We found that the mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law had had different motives for the marriage at first. Five major themes emerged from the analysis of the dyadic interviews: the conflicts of the participants were embedded in the alternative family formation, in financial strains and the power structure, barriers in communication, cultural insensitivity and conflicts between value systems, as well as in role conflicts due to differing role expectations and hegemony. In conclusion, the authors of this study suggest that increasing cultural sensitivity and communication skills in immigrant daughter-in-law and Korean mother-inlaw relationships will be crucial for a healthy in-law relationship. The need for the availability of Multicultural Family Centers' services in the community was highlighted. In order for mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law to form positive relationships, it is important to facilitate a variety of easily accessible educational programs in the community focusing on fostering the mother-in-law's understanding of the daughter-in-law's perspective.
doi:10.6115/fer.2014.031 fatcat:na4daxofjvfcxbxqglcdagdrxu