An Asian Perspective on Relationship and Marriage Education
ABSTRACT The goal of this article is to provide couple therapists and relationship educators with information to enhance the cultural relevance of their work with Asian populations. Because of the rapid social, economic, cultural, and gender role changes, the various Asian interpretations of the institution of marriage are undergoing major transformation. This article describes the general trends in marriage in several Asian nations, with a focus on the swiftly rising divorce rates and changing cultural attitudes to marriage, and discusses current relationship education initiatives in these nations. Finally, based on my experiences working with Asian populations, I present a few humble insights regarding adaptation of marriage education to render it more culturally appropriate for Asians.
- SourceAvailable from: Qing Zhou
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- "Although the divorce rate among Asian Americans (4.9% overall, 4.3% Chinese, 5.6% Pilipino, 5.3% Vietnamese; U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) is lower than the rates of the total U.S. population (10.5%) and other ethnic groups (e.g., African Americans, 11.5%; Hispanics, 7.8%), the rate has more than doubled in the last 3 decades (National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, 2008). With the rapid escalation of divorce rates in Asian countries in recent years (Huang, 2005), the divorce rate among recent Asian immigrants is expected to continue rising. "
ABSTRACT: As the first phrase of a research program aimed at adapting and delivering the New Beginnings Parent Program for divorced Asian American families, a pilot study was conducted to evaluate the cultural fit of the New Beginnings Parent Program (NBP) with the target group. NBP is a manualized, parent-focused, psychoeducational program that has demonstrated robust evidence of preventing and reducing mental health and substance use problems among children from divorced, predominantly European American families. Literature reviews of basic research on parental divorce in Asian American families and parenting in Asian cultures suggested that NBP has the potential of benefiting divorced Asian American families. However, research on differences in needs and values of European Americans and Asian Americans suggested that some tailoring of the program might be important for the program to be good fit for Asian American families. To evaluate the NBP's fit with the values and needs of divorced Asian American families and its potential for engaging this population, as well as to identify aspects of NBP requiring a cultural adaptation, the authors conducted a pilot study with 10 recently divorced or separated Asian American mothers. The mothers received the 10-week NBP intervention as it was originally designed. Quantitative and qualitative data suggested that the overall themes and core components of the NBP were acceptable to divorced Asian American parents, and the program successfully engaged this group. The pilot study also identified several areas in which NBP can be modified to better engage Asian American parents and address the culturally salient needs of this population.07/2014; 5(2):126-133. DOI:10.1037/a0035519
- "One exception was regarding communication, which was more frequently reported a problem by Taiwanese women, in comparison with U.S. women (Henry and Miller 2004). This difference could be due to Taiwanese women's current experience in historical time at the crossroads of the rising influence of independent cultural values and historically traditional influences (Huang 2005; Thornton and Lin 1994; Xu and Lai 2004). These conflicting values may impact couple communication styles and communication roles toward more egalitarianism, which may create relationship problems. "
Article: Perceived Marital Problems in Taiwan[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: With the expansion of the practice of marriage and family therapy outside of the U.S. and Western Europe, it important to gain a better understanding of family interaction and processes in other cultures and countries. Several studies have examined the problems that couples experience in the United States, but little is understood about problems that couples in Asia experience. In this study, perceptions of relationship problems experienced by 213 married couples living in urban Taiwan were examined. Results indicated that raising children and communication were the two problems most frequently reported by both husbands and wives. Among eight relationship problem areas, the only gender difference was in the area of communication, with wives significantly more likely to report it as a problem. An examination of within-dyad agreement indicated that couples generally had high consensus regarding relationship problems. Implications of this research for culturally-sensitive MFT practice are discussed.Contemporary Family Therapy 03/2013; 35(1). DOI:10.1007/s10591-012-9233-3
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- "The goals of CRE are to assist couples to sustain healthy, mutually satisfying relationships, and to reduce the prevalence of relationship distress and separation (Halford et al., 2003). In many developed countries—such as the United States, Japan, Australia, and Norway— government and community agencies are promoting dissemination of CRE in an attempt to reduce the negative personal, social, and economic effects associated with high rates of divorce and relationship distress (Huang, 2005; Ooms, 2005; van Acker, 2003). As described below, the evidence for the effectiveness of CRE shows promising results but clearly indicates the need for more research. "
ABSTRACT: There is some evidence that skill-based couples relationship education (CRE) enhances couples' maintenance of healthy, committed relationships. This article analyzes issues in the balancing of a limited but growing knowledge base on the effects of CRE with current social policy that is creating an impetus for widespread dissemination of CRE. It is suggested that enough is known to act now, and that by doing so, the field has a unique opportunity to substantially (and rapidly) add to the existing knowledge base. Specifically, there can be expansion of knowledge of the efficacy of CRE with diverse populations and service delivery contexts, as well as the influences on the reach of CRE to populations at high risk of future relationship difficulties. While the current article focuses on CRE, the issues discussed have relevance to warrant dissemination to many areas of family psychology intervention.Journal of Family Psychology 09/2008; 22(4):497-505. DOI:10.1037/a0012789 · 1.89 Impact Factor