Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jane Lott


Jane Lott


The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of participation in family decision making among Korean home managers residing in Salt Lake City, Utah, with respect to selected variables, such as the length of stay in the United States, the husband's nationality, the husband's occupational status, the levels of education of both husband and wife, the difference in education between husband and wife, the wife's employment status, and the stage in the family life cycle. A questionnaire was constructed and administered by telephone interview to 72 Korean home managers in Salt Lake City.

On the whole, the pattern of participation in decision making among Korean home managers was different from that anticipated and unlike the pattern observed in previous research in different cultures. In general, we found more joint decision making and less husband dominance than expected. Most striking was the finding that the wife's employment was related to lower participation in decision making, rather than hi g her participation as had been found in previous studies. We also found t hat home managers with professional husbands participated in decision making much more than those with working-class husbands. It should be noted that the subjects were a special group whose husbands occupations were either professional, worker, student upper middle class occupations were almost totally absent. Another peculiarity of the respondents was the extremely high level of education, particularly that of husbands, almost half of whom held either a master 's or doctorate degree. With this peculiar educational background, the wife participated more in decision making when the husband had either a very high or low level of education. This relationship was consistent with most previous findings for the developed countries. However, the wife's education did not show any significant relationship with her participation in decision making. Wives with preschool-age children tended to participate less in decision making than those without children in this age group. Contrary to our expectation, we did not find any significant change in decision-making patterns with the number of years the respondents had lived in the United States. Being married to American husbands did not affect the pattern significantly. Final l y, we concluded that a family decision-making patterns were in transition from a traditional to a more democratic form among Korean families residing in the United States.