Conjugal violence in Korean American families: A residue of the cultural tradition

Jae Yop Kim, Kyu Taik Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


The study explored the incidence of spouse abuse in Korean American families and interrelations between conjugal violence, marital power structure, stress, and socioeconomic and cultural factors. Rate of conjugal violence in these families is higher than those for other Asian American families. Data were collected from 256 families selected at random. In male dominant couples, rate of severe violence, wife beating, was four times higher than that of egalitarian couples. Husbands who experienced higher levels of stress had a greater rate of assaulting their wives. Wives in egalitarian and female dominant couples experienced a lower amount of stress and shared more decision-making power than did those in the male dominant couples. The longer the couples had been in the United States and the more American education they had received, the more egalitarian and female-dominant marital relations they tended to have. The residual influence of the traditional culture, in which they lived prior to immigration, is a factor suggesting why men were more abusive than women. Cultural differences associated with conjugal violence and needs for services are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-345
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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