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A study of the relationships of husbands and wives in Japan by applying American findings of conflict resolution styles to determine marital satisfaction

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Title:
A study of the relationships of husbands and wives in Japan by applying American findings of conflict resolution styles to determine marital satisfaction
Creator:
Kato, Harumi
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vi, 86 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Marital conflict -- Japan ( lcsh )
Conflict management -- Japan ( lcsh )
Communication in marriage -- Japan ( lcsh )
Marriage -- Japan ( lcsh )
Communication in marriage ( fast )
Conflict management ( fast )
Marital conflict ( fast )
Marriage ( fast )
Japan ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 82-86).
Thesis:
Communication and theatre
Statement of Responsibility:
by Harumi Kato.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
40273627 ( OCLC )
ocm40273627
Classification:
LD1190.L48 1998m .K37 ( lcc )

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Full Text
A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES
IN JAPAN
BY APPLYING AMERICAN FINDINGS OF
CONFLICT RESOLUTION STYLES TO DETERMINE
^.B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1993
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Communication and Theatre
1998
MARITAL SATISFACTION
by
Harumi Kato


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Harumi Kato
has been approved
by
Michael Monsour

Date


Kato, Harumi (M.A., Communication and theatre
A Study of the Relationships of Husbands and Wives in Japan
by Applying American Findings of Conflict Resolution Styles
to Determine Marital Satisfaction
Thesis directed by Professor Michael Monsour
ABSTRACT
This research focused on the connection between marital satisfaction
and conflict resolution styles in the relationships of Japanese husbands and
wives by applying the findings of U.S. communication scholars. From a
survey of 104 married couples, levels of marital satisfaction were
investigated in connection with four conflict resolution styles: conflict
engagement, positive problem solving, withdrawal, and compliance. The
results confirmed the findings of U.S. scholars and suggest that the conflict
resolution styles are applicable to Japanese marriages as an indicator of
marital satisfaction in those marriages.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Michael Monsour
in


ACKNOWLEDG EMENTS
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the faculty of the
Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Denver for
their immense support for this work. My deepest gratitude goes to my
advisor, Mike Monsour, who devoted his time and energy with endless
patience to this work, and to my committee members; Samuel Betty for his
accurate advice in statistics, and Barbara Holmes for her warm
encouragement during the course of my difficulties.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to Professor S. Sawai and
her graduate school student M. Oishi of the Department of Education, Akita
University in Japan for their great assistancein finding the Japanese articles
for this study. This thesis would not have been possible without the
extensive help and guidance from all of them.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW................ 1
Problem Statement..................................1
Literature Review..................................2
Historical Background of Marriage in Japan .3
Current Situation........................... 6
Social Expectations in Terms of
Gender Roles in Marriage.................... 8
Problems in Marriage........................ 9
Communication Style and Conflict Resolution
Style in Japanese Marriages................. 12
Studies on Marital Satisfaction in
Japanese Married Couples.................... 16
Research Questions and Hypotheses........... 28
2. RESEARCH METHODS.................................. 30
Introduction......................................30
Subjects......................................... 31
Procedures........................................32
Measures......................................... 34
Data Analysis.................................... 36
v


3. THERESULTS........................................ 40
4. DISCUSSION........................................ 48
Discussion of the Results........................48
Limitations of the Study.........................58
Directions for Future Research...................59
APPENDIX
A. INFORMED CONSENT FORM
IN ENGLISH............................... 61
INJAPANESE............................... 63
B. INSTRUCTION TO THE CORE PERSON
IN ENGLISH............................... 64
INJAPANESE................................66
C. COVER LETTER AND QUESTIONNAIRES
IN ENGLISH............................... 67
INJAPANESE............................... 75
REFERENCES......................................... 82
VI


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW
The connection between conflict resolution styles of Japanese
husbands and wives and how the styles contribute to their marital
satisfaction is the primary focus of this investigation. This study surveys 104
married couples using two questionnaires, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction
Scale (Schumm et al., 1986) and the Conflict Resolution Inventory (Kurdek,
1994). This paper also discusses current marriage trends in Japan from
broader cultural and historical perspectives.
Problem Statement
Because of the high divorce rate in the United States, American social
scientists have been searching for predictors of marital success for many
years. From their investigations, some communication scholars believe that
marital satisfaction is determined by a combination of communication
patterns and ways in which couples manage their conflicts (e.g., Gottman,
1994). Though conflict in American marriages has been extensively
investigated (Fitzpatrick, 1988; Floyd & Markman, 1984; Gottman, 1994;
Kurdek, 1995; Locke & Wallance, 1959; Rauch, 1974), marital conflict in
other countries has been generally ignored. One such country is Japan.
1


The divorce rate in Japan has steadily increased since 1990, yet is
still only half the U.S. rate. Statistics show that 50% of all marriages in
America and 25% of all marriages in Japan end in divorce (White Report,
1996). If the findings of U.S. communication scholars are applicable to other
cultures, one could reason that the Japanese divorce rate is lower because
Japanese couples manage their conflicts better than American couples, thus
achieve higher marital satisfaction. However, results from investigations in
the U.S. should not necessarily be generalized to Japanese marriages
because both communication styles and conflict resolution practices are
quite different from those of Americans (Barnlund, 1989; Gudykunst, 1994;
Hall & Hall, 1987; Klopf, 1991). Nevertheless, results of the U.S.
investigations may be used as a basis for examining whether conflict
resolution styles also determine marital satisfaction in Japan.
Literature Review
This chapter addresses (a) the historical background of marriage in
Japan, (b) the current situation, (c) social expectations in term of gender
roles in marriage, (d) problems in marriage, (e) communication styles and
conflict resolution styles in marriage, and (f) a review of studies on marital
satisfaction in Japanese married couples. Because of the paucity of
Japanese research published in American journals, most of the articles used
in this study were obtained through the assistance of the Family Study Unit,
2


Department of Education, Akita University, Japan, and translated by the
investigator with great care.
Historical Background of Marriage in Japan
Japanese marriages have changed dramatically since World War II.
The postwar Japanese Constitution (The Constitution), which was drafted by
the U.S. General Headquarters Occupation staff and enacted in 1947,
introduced legal rights and equality for individuals within a marriage for the
first time in Japanese history (Ninomiya, 1996). Article 24, Section 1 of The
Constitution clearly states that marriage has to be established by the two
individuals, a man and a woman who desire to marry. The couple should
maintain their marriage with equal rights and mutual cooperation (p.13).
This new spirit of the law conveyed and introduced the dignity of an
individual and the principle of equal rights between man and woman which
had been long forgotten in Japanese history (Ninomiya). Before Japan was
organized as a nation in the seventh century, women had higher social
status and power than men in a matrilineal society. By the ninth century, the
concept of men as dominants and women as followers became concrete in
Japanese society together with establishment of their political systems
(Inoue, 1965).
Before The Constitution, marriage was practiced for the family, not for
the individual, under Meiji Civil Law. When a woman married, she entered
3


into the mans family and became one of his family members (Nishimura,
1981). The relationships with other family members took precedence over
the relationship with her husband. When a woman married, she lost her
rights to engage in legal activities, such as dealing with properties, applying
for loans from banks, and entering into contracts (Ninomiya, 1996). A wife
was treated as an incompetent individual and all her legal rights belonged to
her husband.
Up until World War II ended, women were educated to become good
mothers and wives as a matter of governmental policy (Kanda et at., 1992).
In this system of absolute order, with men as superiors and women as
inferiors, wives had no choice but to devote themselves to domestic duties
and child bearing in their husbands extended family. Husbands and wives
were clearly separated in their roles and activities according to their gender.
If the wife could not have a child, the husband could easily divorce her, as
producing the next generation was an essential factor to maintain ie
structure (a multigenerational property-owning corporate group which
continues through time) (Takeda, 1970) for the family. Most women
accepted this reality as their destiny, and had no doubts about following
these societal expectations. When the postwar Constitution introduced the
concept that marriage has to be established by the free will of a man and a
woman, not for a family, and husband and wife could actually possess equal
rights as individuals, it produced shock and suffering that jarred traditional
4


social values into new social rules. The change produced many conflicts in
the relationships between husbands and wives (Tanaka, 1968).
Nagatsu (1993) divides the postwar husband and wife relationship
into four stages. Stage I 1945 ~ 1955: Even with the new Constitution
introduced, the principle of old law and societal expectations still strongly
influenced the husband and wife relationship. Husbands possessed sole
power as superiors, and wives obeyed them. Stage II -1956 ~ 1975:
Because of the national high economic growth policy, the gender roles of
husbands as providers and wives as supporters were strongly pursued and
were still deeply ingrained. Japanese society recognized the husband and
wife relationship as an equal relationship because it was based on a
division of labor. Stage III -1976 ~ 1985: Along with low economic growth
and an increasing number of working women, the social norm regarding
gender roles changed. The United Nations International Womens Year
influenced Japanese law makers, and people realized that gender roles
were a form of segregation by sex. Stage IV after 1986: Husbands and
wives started to develop equal relationships as individuals with the help of
new laws such as the Equal Opportunity of Employment Act in 1986, and
Child-bearing Leave Act in 1992.
Today, a half century after World War II, the spirit of the Constitution
has finally penetrated the consciousness of the majority of married couples
between the ages of 25 and 35. As a result, Japanese society has started to
5


accept individuals preferences and choices concerning marriage (Kanda,
Kimura, & Noguchi, 1992; Iwao, 1993; Ninomiya, 1996). The average age of
marriage for both sexes has risen, the divorce rate has increased, and the
number of single people has increased (White Report, 1995 & 1996).
Current Situation
According to National Demographics in Japan 1996, the average
age of marriage for men was 28.5 years and for women was 26.4. The
average age of married individuals has been steadily increasing since 1970.
The fact that 50% of women between 25 and 29 years of age are single
indicates that women in their late 20s may prefer to be single (White Report,
1995). Social preference surveys about marriage also revealed that the
number of women who think they should be married has decreased from
80% to 44% in the past 20 years (Ninomiya, 1996). Another study also
reported that the number of Japanese who think women should get married
has decreased from 82.1% in 1972 to 46.2% in 1990 (White Report, 1995).
In Japan, 795,040 couples were married in 1996 and 206,966
couples were divorced in the same year. This is equivalent to 25% of all
marriages ending in divorce. This is the first time that more than 200,000
couples were divorced in one year since Japan started to record the
demographics of marriage and divorce in 1899.
These statistics show that more and more Japanese individuals are
6


withdrawing from marriage or are choosing not to be involved in marital
relationships. However, in 1994 the International Study of Sociology
revealed that compared to other developed countries including Germany,
Italy, Australia, the U.S., and England, Japan showed both the lowest
divorce rate and the lowest social acceptance of divorce in the countries
studied. This study showed that 33.3% of men and 31.8% of women in
Japan regarded divorce as the best solution to a difficult marriage. The
same study reported the U.S. rate as 47.5% of men and 46.0% of women,
and Germany with 65.5% of men and 67.3% of women.
The way Japanese regard marriage has changed dramatically in the
past ten years, people used to marry without having any doubts. When they
reached the appropriate age, societal norms dictated that marriage was the
only way to make women happy (Kanda et al., 1992). This myth is no longer
true:
It is a fact that in the past marriage was womens ultimate dream. In
the recent years women have become more realistic because they
now know that they are restrained by marriage. Most women obtain
jobs after graduating from school, and manage their money and time
freely the same as men do. Women enjoy their freedom to the fullest.
It is easy to understand that women do not want to give up their
freedom for marriage. .. .The expectation of marriage is fading away
(Kanda et al., 1992, p.112). (translated by the investigator).
Thus, women realize that there are many constraints in marriage.
They are becoming less willing to exchange their freedom, which they have
obtained through equal education and employment opportunities, for
marriage. In a survey conducted by the Economic Planning Ministry in 1995,
7


41% of men and 55% of women between 20 years and 59 years of age
preferred being single. This percentage is higher among the younger
generation, with 70% of women in their 20s and 30s preferring a single life
style.
Social Expectations in Terms of Gender Roles in Marriage
Compared to the U.S., the idea of "man as provider and "woman as
supporter is still very much a part of Japanese society. A governmental
survey in 1972 showed that among people over 20 years of age, 83.8% of
men and 83.2% of women agreed that the husband should work as a
provider while the wife should stay home as a supporter. In 1992, 20 years
later, the ratio dropped to 65.7% of men and 55.6% of women believing
these traditional roles (Ninomiya, 1996).
Van Wolferen (1994), a Dutch journalist specializing in political
economics and living in Japan since 1962, points out that Japanese
economic success after World War II largely depended on these gender
roles. Ninomiya (1996) cited one example of how business enterprises
worked to influence their employees and their families:
In 1985, a major delivery service company sent their employees
wives a booklet titled Guidebook for wives: How to manage your
family members health. The booklet said, Dear wives, your
household ability supports your husband and your family members.
We want your husband to work hard for us. In order for him to put all
his energy into our company, we would like to ask you to take good
care of him and your family. You are in charge of maintaining your
8


home in good condition which includes cooking, laundry, vacuuming,
and so on .(p.26) (translated by the investigator).
Sodei (1990) noted that because of this contribution by wives, it was
possible for husbands to put all their time and energy into their companies.
Van Wolferen (1994) comments that Japanese men are asked to marry their
company (p.67). After the economic bubble broke in Japan in 1990,
business enterprises tried to strengthen their relationships with employees
in order to survive rigorous global competition (Ninomiya, 1996).
Problems in Marriage
In a society where it is not customary for couples to do things
together, husbands and wives tend to develop their own lifestyles. Both
individuals cultivate closely knit networks of social acquaintances separate
from their spouses (Iwao, 1993). Clear gender roles make it easier to
develop interests without interference from the other spouse (Sodei, 1990).
Husbands, who are married to their company, work long hours and
develop relationships with their co-workers and subordinates. Van Wolferen
(1994) found that many husbands prefer to spend time with co-workers
rather than their wives because they do not have mutual topics to share with
their spouses (p.66), or they have become estranged from their homes
because of their extended absence as a family member. On the other hand,
women establish their own networks. Wives who stay home or give up their
9


careers and become part-time workers develop close relationships with their
children and friends. Iwao (1993) points out:
In the home, women criticize men for not shouldering their share of
child care and then turn around and refuse to admit fathers into the
closed circle of intimacy between mother and child. Their
dissatisfaction with the marital relationship centers on the lack of
communication with their husbands, yet they much prefer to spend
time with their girlfriends (p.277).
Japanese social systems have been formed and managed by men for
many years. This society considers the ideal husband and wife relationship
to be a relationship like air. Iwao (1993) explains that this expression
implies that relationship, like the air we breathe, is vital for the survival of
both sides even though its presence is hardly felt (p.75). Although a
husband does not need to be aware of the existence of his wife nor her
devotion to him, his everyday life is well maintained by her contributions.
When the husband is assigned to work in another city, he often
chooses to move by himself. This is called tanshin funin (the option of
moving temporarily to a new post alone, leaving ones family behind). In
1995, 31.2% of all husbands who were assigned to a new work place chose
to be transferred by themselves; this rate has increased from 18.6% in 1985
(White Report, 1996). Tanshin funin happens mostly with families who have
children in school (Tsuge, 1992). The practice is based in the belief that
changing school in the middle of school life severely disturbs a child. If a
child cannot achieve good grades, it affects his or her future, making it
10


difficult to enter good universities and thus obtain solid employment.
Therefore, it is more important that the wife stay with the children rather than
move with her husband (Iwao, 1993).
Since Japan is highly integrated, hierarchical and structured
vertically, people traditionally disregarded horizontal relationships such as
marital relationships (Kondo, 1981; Nakama, 1991; Ninomiya 1996). As the
family relationship is also formed vertically from grandparents to parents to
children, married individuals tend to place a higher priority on relationships
with their children and/or their parents than with one another.
When the domestically helpless husband is at home, the wife must be
there to provide his meals, do his laundry, prepare his bath, make his bed,
and otherwise serve him. The common expression for a wife, which is the
counterpart of a relationship like air, is the expression a good husband is
healthy and absent. Iwao (1993) explains that "as long as the husband is
absent and in good health, the wife can dispense with the household chores
quickly and use the remaining time as she likes (p.90).
Husbands who are devoted to their companies are excluded from the
opportunities to develop household skills. Real problems start when
husbands reach the age of retirement. Without any special interests beside
work, men can become nothing but useless sodai gomi (oversized trash), or
worse, nure ochiba (wet fallen leaves) which are very hard to get rid of
(Iwao, 1993). At this stage of life, wives have established firm relationships
11


with children, siblings, and friends, and many of them are participating
actively in community events or hobby groups, they have learned to spend
time without their husbands. When retired, overdependent husbands try to
join their wives activities, the wives become resentful and call their
husbands kyofu no washizoku (the take-me-with-you terrors) (Iwao, 1993).
Communication Style and Conflict Resolution Style in Japanese Marriages
Cultural traditions and social norms strongly influence communication
styles and conflict resolution styles in every relationship of human beings.
Kondo (1981) points out that in a society where vertical relationships among
human beings are fundamental, horizontal relationships are secondary.
Such a society will not have cultivated an environment and interpersonal
techniques for developing horizontal human relationships.
Iwao (1993) illustrates a communication style between husbands and
wives of the older generation through a readers letter published in the
newspaper:
...If I say to my husband, just for the sake of conversation, Sure is cold
today, isnt it? he is sure to snap back that Its winter; it ought to be
cold. If I say, I would like to go on a trip with my friend, so-and-so,
his response will be an indifferent, Do as you please. I have long
since given up expecting thoughtful or gentle replies from him.
Whenever I feel like vocalizing my thoughts, I sing a song or talk to the
flowers or the sky. I am told that personalities never change. It is
hopeless to try to appeal to your husband.. (Housewife, aged 59)
(P-95.).
Sato (1992) states that because of clearly separated gender roles
12


and vertically structured family relationships, husbands and wives have little
direct contact with each other in their daily lives. Social norms ruled that
once a man and a woman married, they should avoid conflict by
suppressing selfishness, acting humble, and being thoughtful. Kondo
(1981) notes that in the older generation, couples believe that true love is
quiet love, and to prove their love, they should work hard at their own roles.
In particular, husbands believe that to love their wives means to be faithful to
them, to earn enough money for their family, and to work diligently.
Japanese husbands do not view intimacy in their marriage as involving
conversations with their wives. With this social norm, it is not surprising that
older couples do not have arguments at all during their married life (Okadou,
1991).
Another letter from a reader to the newspaper illustrates this point:
On weekends, my husband and I drive to a sports club, two hours
going and coming. I gaze out at the beautiful blue ocean and the
scenery we pass with delight, exclaiming how splendid it is--to myself.
I have learned not to try to engage my husband in conversation over
such things as I am sure only to receive a thorny response. After
some twenty years of marriage, we happened to join the same sports
club and so we started driving together. Now I feel even more
isolated from him than before joining the club because of these hours
I have to spend with him without being able to communicate what I am
thinking (Housewife, aged 52) (Iwao, p.95).
Inhibiting the expression of personal emotion is a Japanese cultural
value; people expect others to understand their emotions without saying a
word (Kondo, 1981). This national characteristic has produced and shaped
13


Japanese communication styles which are described as ishin denshin
(silent communication in which people believe that a persons real intentions
are communicated to others without words), and amae (the feeling of
nurturing concern for and dependence on another) (Doi, 1993). In the
intimate relationship of a husband and wife, this tendency is multiplied: You
know even if I dont say it.
Nitta (1975) and Satake (1995) claim that the dissonance between
the old social norms and the new constitutional idea that husbands and
wives possess equal rights causes conflict in marital relationships.
Husbands tend to stay traditional and have difficulties in adjusting
themselves to both social changes and spousal expectations.
There is evidence that these communication patterns persist in
younger Japanese couples. A letter from a younger reader describes a
similar situation:
... When my husband and I were dating, he would say he was glad
when he was glad; he would talk to me. I wish my husband would
look at me now when he talks to me, instead of averting his gaze, and
not call me with the domineering Oi [Hey]! After I go and look after
his mother, he could give me maybe one word of thanks? I am tired of
guessing from his expression that he is grateful. And why does he act
so grumpy when we are alone? He demands, Tea! and I reply, Ill
bring it in a minute. But then he insists, Why dont you have it ready
the minute I sit down?" Then, if I do serve him immediately, he doesnt
say a word in thanks. I just wish he would say once, I love you. I
never heard him say that, not even once. I want to hear him say so
before I die ... (Housewife, aged 37) (Iwao, 1993, p.96).
In these letters, Iwao found that the wives show their frustration in
14


their relationships, but it also shows that they are stjll unwilling to take an
aggressive approach (such as obtaining a divorce) to solving the problems
from which their dissatisfaction stems (p.96). She points out that the
nonconfrontational tendency in Japanese human relations results from the
long-term perspective people take towards gain and loss, happiness and
unhappiness, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and is constrained by a
consideration of others and the surrounding situation.
Compared to Americans romantic marriages where affection and
emotion are involved, Japanese marriages are practical. Matuura (1986)
notes that Japanese married couples maintain their marriage without
developing intimacy, which is supposed to be established at the early stage
of their marriage. Instead, they maintain their marriages with other factors
such as socioeconomic, children and ie structure. This is supported by
Kamos (1993) research that found a Japanese wifes marital satisfaction
related directly to her husbands income.
In the poorly cultivated husband and wife relationships in the
Japanese family, communication does not flow as it does in most American
families. An episode was introduced in the book Communicaton (1989), in
which a foreign exchange student stayed with a Japanese family. The
student who was expected to improve her Japanese conversation ability
soon realized that the husband and wife did not often converse, and that the
grandfather and the grandmother watched television throughout the day.
15


The father was seldom home, and whenever present used only words such
as Meshi, Furo,""NerU (Meal, take a bath, go to sleep).
Thus, communication and conflict resolution in Japanese marriages
are practicing in a different manner that in American marriages.
Studies on Marital Satisfaction in Japanese Married Couples
Studies on Japanese marital satisfaction have been conducted by
several scholars (Kamo, 1993; Nagatsu, 1987; Ozawa, 1987; Sodei &
Tuzuki, 1985; Takahashi, 1991). The study by Sodei and Tuzuki used a
measurement which was developed by American scholars, Stinnetts Marital
Need Satisfaction Scale (Stinnett et al.,1970), and modified it to better match
Japanese marital practices. The Marital Need Satisfaction Scale (MNSS)
was developed to measure elderly couples marital satisfaction from the
emotional and mental point of view and included 24 questionnaire items.
The items were divided into six categories: love, personality fulfillment,
respect, communication, finding meaning in life, and integration of past life
experiences. Sodei and Tusuki adopted 11 questions from these items
which were applicable to the Japanese, and added two more questions to
supplement the measurement: 1) I am satisfied with my partner in general,
and 2) I would like to marry the same partner in my next life. The subjects
answer as follows: Yes=2, Dont know=1, and No=0. The total score was 26
points from 13 questions. This scale became a standard of studying marital
16


satisfaction in Japanese couples.
Sodei and Tuzukis study was conducted to find out what factors in
married life cause marital satisfaction in Japanese retired couples. They did
the survey twice: first, in 1979 with 832 couples whose husbands were
retired, and second, in 1983 with 325 couples who were chosen from the
first survey subjects. The final number of subjects was 278 couples. Sodei
and Tusuki found that the average score of marital satisfaction in both
husbands and wives was very high. In 1979, 64.7 percent of husbands and
47.8 percent of wives scored more than 24 points out of 26 points, and the
average scores were 22.3 for husbands and 21.4 for wives. In 1983, 60.1
percent of husbands and 54.7 percent of wives scored more than 24 points,
and the average scores were 22.0 for husbands and 21.7 for wives.
In both cases, the husbands' marital satisfaction score was higher
than the wives. Sodei and Tusuki noted that this tendency could be found
in a similar study of American marriages. The husbands and wives scores
were correlational: when a husbands marital satisfaction score was high,
his wifes score was also high; when his score was low, his wifes score was
also low.
In the six MNSS categories, a communication item Trying to find
satisfactory solutions to our disagreements, was scored the lowest by both
husbands and wives. Sodei and Tusuki suspected that the traditional
communication style of husbands and wives, You know even though I dont
17


say the words attitude was responsible for a failure to develop good
communicative skills and abilities. They compared their two surveys (1979
and 1983) to investigate which factors related to change of lifestyle
contributed to the couples marital satisfaction. The data indicated that an
increase of conversation time significantly contributed to a rise in the score
for marital satisfaction.
Since this study focused on retired, elderly couples, the results may
not be equivalent for younger couples. Retired couples marital satisfaction
could be more straightforwardly affected by their mental relationships than
other factors such as socioeconomic status, age, sex, and relationships with
other family members and friends. Their high average score on marital
satisfaction could be a result of the fact that the couples had been in a
marriage for a long time and agreed to be subjects together. Perhaps only
the happily married volunteered to participate in the study in the first place,
which would explain the high scores on marital satisfaction.
Takahashi (1991) also studied elderly couples marital satisfaction by
using six items from Sodei and Tuzukis modified MNSS. He added 27
more questions to the scale to investigate the connection between marital
satisfaction and perceptions of societal and familial events. Some of his
questions included the following: Do you think that couples should discuss
everything and anything with each other?; Do you think it is necessary to
give instruction to your grown-up children?; and Do you think it is
18


necessary for a childless couple to adopt a child?
His study was designed to discover levels of marital satisfaction not
only in relationships between spouses, but also in relationships with their
children and extended family members in the ie structure. The subjects for
his survey were 149 couples in which at least one member of the couple
was over 65 years old. All of the couples were living by themselves, away
from their family members. The data showed that the average score of
marital satisfaction for both husbands and wives was very high. Seventy
one percent of husbands and 53.7 percent of wives marked the highest
score possible, 6 points. The average score for husbands was 5.56, and for
wives was 5.02. Husband and wife marital satisfaction was also positively
correlated. These results confirmed Sodei and Tuzukis findings: the
husbands marital satisfaction score was higher than the wives, and the
husbands and wives scores were correlational.
Since Takahashi studied elderly couples' marital satisfaction in
relation to their awareness of relationships with spouse, children, and ie
structure, the results did not clearly establish the connection between marital
satisfaction and marital practices.
Ozawa (1987) studied marital satisfaction in younger, dual-income
couples, and how the working patterns of wives reflected the couples
marital satisfaction. She also used the modified MNSS as her
measurement. The subjects were 752 couples between the ages of 23 to 48
19


for wives and 23 to 58 for husbands. They all had at least one child aged
four to five-years-old who attended a day-care center or kindergarten while
the couples were working. The study confirmed the results of Sodei and
Tusukis research; husbands marital satisfaction scored higher than wives,
and couples scores were correlational. Also the item about conflict
resolution style, Trying to find satisfactory solutions to our disagreements,
scored the lowest in the questionnaire. The subjects answered to the item
with the points of Yes=2, Dont know=1, and No=0, and the average score
was 1.2. This average score suggested that many Japanese couples
manage conflicts poorly. The husbands positive involvement in child
rearing and domestic chores and the duration of conversations between
spouses were positively related to the couples marital satisfaction. Thus the
interaction between husbands and wives greatly contributed to their marital
satisfaction. The data did not show any connection between wives working
patterns and marital satisfaction.
Since Ozawa used the MNSS, which was initially designed to
measure elderly couples marital satisfaction, there might have been some
discrepancy in the responses for the younger married couples, such as in
the item I would like to marry the same partner in the next life. Younger
couples may have not lived together long enough to be able to speculate on
such a possibility.
Nagatsu (1987) also searched for predictors of marital happiness
20


among married people in their 20s and 30s. Her subjects were 262 males
and 291 females, for a total of 553 married individuals between the ages of
20 to 39. Individuals were not married to one another. Marital happiness
scores ranged over nine levels (1=extremely unhappy, to 9=extremely
happy) and 23 variables were listed as predictors, such as education,
income, domestic roles, sex, spending time at home, and so on.
The study found that differences between expectations and realities in
the relationships between spouses, household income, and the time
duration for interaction with ones spouse all played important roles in
determining marital happiness. Nagatsu pointed out when both individuals
in a marriage played the role of providers, the husbands marital happiness
score was high, whereas the wives was low.
She concluded that low level of marital happiness in working wives
resulted from (a) a feeling that their ideal happiness was at a higher level;
(b) a feeling of unfairness regarding their husbands respect for their dual
roles as providers and care-takers; and (c) their need to work regardless of
their feelings because of their husbands insufficient income.
A study by Kamo (1993), published in English, examined the
similarities and differences between American and Japanese married
couples. The U.S. findings concluded that satisfaction in marriage was
determined by each spouses resources and rewards from marital
interactions. Kamo used Linear Structural Relationships to examine three
21


factors: resources/demographics; perceived fairness in, or benefit from, the
relationship; and companionship. The variables included income,
education, age, the number of dinners the spouses had together per week,
and common experiences regarding friends. Respondents perceptions of
fairness in, or benefit from, the relationships was measured by the question,
Considering the chores done in your household, do you feel your partner
does his or her fair share?" The scores ranged from 1 (much less than his or
her fair share) to 9 (much more than his or her fair share). Marital
satisfaction was measured by one question, How satisfied are you with your
marital relationship in general? with the score ranging from 1 (not satisfied
at all) to 9 (extremely satisfied). The Japanese subjects, 424 husbands and
475 wives, were selected from the Tokyo metropolitan area. They all had at
least one child aged six to fifteen years old.
The data showed that for the Japanese sharing friends and going out
with common friends," and the frequency of spouses having dinner
together were positively related to their marital satisfaction. In other words,
interaction between husbands and wives was one of the important
determinants of Japanese marital satisfaction. However, the husbands
relative share of the household work was negatively related to their
satisfaction with marriage. The more household work the husbands
performed, the less satisfied they were with their marriages. This negative
relation between household work and marital satisfaction applied only to
22


Japanese husbands. This phenomenon typically reflects traditional
Japanese gender roles and husbands perceptions toward wives as care-
takers. Both husbands and wives marital satisfaction were directly related
to husbands income. Kamo noted that when marriage is empty in terms of
its emotional needs, Japanese spouses could be satisfied with it as long as
it provides economic security (p. 565).
Kamos study expresses insight and a deep understanding of
Japanese marriages with his subjects representing the diverse population of
Tokyo, Japans largest city. It is doubtful, however, that a single question
measuring the level of marital satisfaction adequately represented the
subjects feelings toward their marriages.
Kamo examined marital satisfaction only from the aspect of each
spouses rewards from marital interactions, but not from the aspect of
communication, especially how conflict was managed between spouses.
Since conflict management plays an important role in marital interaction
(Kurdek, 1995), it should be thoroughly investigated.
Onode and Motomura (1986) studied spousal marital satisfaction vis
'a vis how a marital relationship affected childrens personalities. The
subjects were 512 tenth to twelfth graders in a big city. Onode and
Motomura investigated how the subjects perceived their parents marital
satisfaction by using Roachs Marital Satisfaction Scale (RMSS) (Roach et
al., 1981). RMSS contained questions such as, Do you think your mother
23


and father are satisfied with the marriage?"; Do you think your parents get
along well?; and Do you think your parents find their marriage successful?"
In the process of their study, Onode and Motomura found that the
children perceived their fathers marital satisfaction as higher than the
mothers. They explained this tendency as the result of male-dominated
Japanese society with ie centered cultural values where the completion of
domestic chores depended heavily on mothers. One problem with this
survey is the limited time the children spend with their fathers. In the typical
Japanese household, the father shares much less time with his children than
the mother does. In light of this, the childrens observations and perceptions
might be one-sided, and possibly influenced by their mothers dominance in
the household.
In 1995, a lab in the private sector, Lifestyle Study Laboratory in
Osaka, conducted an intensive survey of communication practices between
husbands and wives in their daily lives. The subjects of the survey were
469 couples in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. The questionnaire contained 32
items in 11 questions for wives and 18 items in 8 questions for husbands.
The questions included topics such as conversational practices between
spouses, the expression of affection between spouses, frequency of going
out with ones spouse, how much husbands or wives know about their
partners, how spouses address each other (i.e., what words are actually
used, or even if they are addressed at all), interaction with partners friends,
24


and level of satisfaction with communication practices. Some of the
questions included were, How long did you spend with your husband in the
same room yesterday (sleeping time excluded)?; How does your husband
address you at home?; Do you think it is necessary to express your
affection toward your wife?; and Do you want to know more about your
wife?"
The data revealed that only 40 percent of the couples greeted each
other every morning; the working wives spent more time engaging in
conversation with their spouses than the wives who stayed home; half of the
couples were somewhat satisfied with their communication practices, and
only six percent of them were very satisfied. Half of the couples never
considered communication as a key factor in establishing good spousal
relationships. They were simply not interested in engaging in conversation
with their spouses. The survey also found that the more couples were
engaged in conversation, the more they were satisfied with their
relationships. Mutual interaction such as going out together and exchanging
presents on special occasions also played positive roles in their marriages.
Younger couples enjoyed their conversation with their spouses more than
older couples, and couples in their 40s and 50s showed less interest in
engaging in conversation with each other. Thirty percent of couples in their
40s claimed that they had days when they had no conversation at all.
A part of the results of the survey conducted by Lifestyle Study
25


Laboratory is rooted in Japanese culture where ki kubari (a social norm in
which being watchful and doing things before being asked are stressed) has
long been valued in human relationships. As a result of ki kubari, the
concept of "communication has not developed in the same way as in
western countries. Ki kubari conveys beyond Western concept of non-verbal
communication and it is more intuitive knowledge rather than knowledge
from learning. There are no exactly equivalent words for communication in
the Japanese language; therefore, the English word "communication had
been adopted, as is, into Japanese.
As presented in this section, the study of Japanese marital satisfaction
has been conducted by several Japanese scholars, and problems in
Japanese marriages have been addressed in general. Two out of seven
studies investigated elderly people, four of them surveyed younger to
middle-aged couples, and one of them studied younger couples in their 20s
and 30s.
There are three major conclusions that may be drawn from the seven
studies conducted on marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages. First,
marital satisfaction is higher among husbands than wives. The studies of
Sodei and Tuzuki, Takahashi, Ozawa, and Onode and Motomura confirmed
this conclusion. The reason for this finding could be interpreted by
Japanese gender roles in which wives are expected to be care-takers in a
male-dominated society. Or it might suggest that wives are more likely than
26


husbands to confront disagreement in their marriage (Gottman, 1994). Or
perhaps women took the survey more serious than the men,who responded
without serious reflection. Secondly, increased time in conversation and
increased interaction between spouses are positively related to marital
satisfaction. The more couples are engaged in conversation, and the more
time they spend together, the happier they are in their relationships (Kamo,
Lifestyle Study Laboratory, Ozawa, Sodei & Tuzuki). Third, many Japanese
couples pay no attention to their communication practices with their spouses
(Lifestyle Study Laboratory, Ozawa, Sodei & Tuzuki). This finding might
reflect the Japanese cultural value which does not recognize communication
as being an important part of marriages.
Five out of the seven studies investigated the predictors or
determinants of Japanese marital satisfaction. In these studies it was found
that even though traditional Japanese culture valued ki kubari
communication style, conversation and interactions between spouses
actually contributed significantly to their marital satisfaction. However, the
connection of Japanese marital satisfaction and communication to conflict
resolution styles has not been studied intensively. This is perhaps because
the concept of overt spousal communication is relatively new among the
Japanese, and conflict management styles are not normally discussed. For
most Japanese the word conflict1 give them negative connotations from
their social value harmony, and they do not show their disagreement in an
27


obvious way. Therefore, they have been reluctant to confront any conflicts
even between spouses (Satake, 1995). It is reasonable, however, to
believe that this link exists because if both conversation and spousal
interaction are connected to marital satisfaction, the conflict management
style should also be connected to their marital satisfaction.
The present study of the relationships of Japanese husbands and
wives, and the connection between Japanese couples' marital satisfaction
and their conflict resolution styles, could reveal new predictors or
determinants of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages.
Research Questions and Hypotheses
Based on the reviewed literature, the following research questions
are addressed: (1) What is the level of marital satisfaction in Japanese
marriages? (2) Are there significant differences between husbands and
wives marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? (3) What conflict
resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese marriages? (4) In
what ways are conflict resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in
Japanese marriages?
Once again, based on the review of the literature, the following
hypotheses will be investigated in this thesis.
Hypothesis 1. Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in wives will be
the most frequently used conflict resolution styles in
28


Hypothesis 2. Japanese marriages. Couples in which both individuals withdraw from conflict will have less marital satisfaction than couples in which both individuals engage in positive problem solving.
Hypothesis 3. Individuals who perceive their partners withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who perceive their partners engage in positive problem solving.
Hypothesis 4. Positive problem solving conflict style will be related to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement, withdrawal, and compliance.
In the next chapter, specific research methods such as how the
investigator collected the necessary data for the study will be discussed.
29


CHAPTER 2
RESEARCH METHODS
Introduction
To collect data for the present study on relationships between
Japanese husbands and wives, a self-administered questionnaire survey
method was adopted. Instead of mailing the questionnaires directly to the
respondents, the investigator selected core persons who delivered
questionnaires and explained the study to the respondents. Questionnaires
were left for the respondents to complete, and retrieved later in person or by
mail. The ways in which the questionnaires were delivered and retrieved
were left to the discretion of core persons.
The sensitive nature of the survey questions led to the adoption of a
self-administered questionnaire. Marital satisfaction and conflict
management are quite personal matters, and most Japanese do not discuss
openly either their marital life or interaction with their spouses (Satake,
1995). Utilizing this method, the respondents privacy was relatively
protected. The second reason for adopting this method was that the study
required a reasonable number of participants to collect a significant amount
of data. The use of core persons contributed to achieving a higher return rate
(85%) for the questionnaires. To obtain well-represented samples for the
30


study, it was essential to enlist core persons who actually lived in selected
locations in Japan.
Subjects
The final sample consisted of 104 husbands and 104 wives who had
been married for more than five years, and ranged in age from 28 to 55.
Among the husbands, 1.0% were in their 20s, 26.9% in their 30s, 52.9% in
their 40s, and 19.2% in their 50s. Among the wives, 1.9% were in their 20s,
45.2% in their 30s, 45.2% in their 40s, and 7.7% in their 50s. The average
age for husbands was 43 and for wives 41. The duration of the marriages
ranged from five years to 31 years with a mean of 15.9 years.
Couples who were married by a match maker (a coordinator who
knows both individuals as candidates for marriage and arranges the first
formal date) accounted for 11.5%, and those who married after falling in
love" accounted for 81.7%. Others accounted for 6.7% including
marriages determined by the parents when both individuals were young,
marriages in which families adopt a male as a husband for their daughter in
order to keep the family name, and marriages which do not belong to any of
the preceding groups.
Ninety-two percent of the couples had children. Forty-one percent of
husbands and 15% of wives were college graduates. Of the husbands, 42%
earned more than nine million yen, 51% earned between 8,999,999 yen and
31


five million yen, and 7% earned less than five million yen. The average
income for a Japanese household in 1995 was 6,596,000 yen which was
equivalent to US$52,000 as of April 30, 1997. Of wives, 42% were
unemployed.
Procedures
Participants were chosen from five cities in Japan (Tokyo, Yokohama,
Nagano, Yamagata, and Hanno) in April 1997. Tokyo and Yokohama are
big, cosmopolitan cities, while Nagano and Yamagata are middle-sized,
conventional cities. Hanno is a small older city which is becoming a suburb
of Tokyo. The snowball sampling technique, a method which begins with a
few relevant respondents, and then expands through referrals (Babbie,
1995), was adopted for the survey. The investigator solicited participants
through five men and five women, all personal acquaintances (core
persons), who then solicited study participants through their personal
networks. The number of participants with whom one core person dealt with
varied from five couples to 30 couples. This distribution resulted in 53
couples in the big cities, 55 couples in the middle-size cities, and 25 couples
in the small city.
Qualified study participants must have been born after 1940, have
been educated in schools in the post World War II era, and have been
married for more than five years. Since the Japanese educational system
32


and school curriculum changed dramatically after the war, it was crucial for
this study to have participants who were educated in this new system rather
than the old system. The couples also should have past their honeymoon
phase to evaluate their marriages. The newly wed couples tend to put
themselves into socially preferred married couples rather than developing
their own style of relationships. The couples whose marriages last for more
than five years are more stable; therefor, they can comprehend their
relationships better.
Each couple was given two identical surveys that included a
statement of instruction, a statement of informed consent, a measure of
demographic variables, a measure of marital satisfaction, and a measure of
conflict resolution styles. The couples were directed to complete their
surveys separately and privately, and to refrain from discussing their
answers with each other. The completed forms were put into the same
envelope, and the envelope was sealed and either returned to the core
persons or directly returned to the investigator. The core persons collected
the forms from their participants and mailed or handed them to the
investigator. One hundred and twelve couples and two individuals out of
133 couples returned the forms, and eight unqualified couples and two
individuals were eliminated. As a result, 104 couples (203 individuals)
comprised the final sample.
33


Measures
To capture the relationship between marital satisfaction and conflict
resolution style, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (Schumm et al., 1986)
and the Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating & Partner-Rating) (Kurdek,
1994) were adopted. The Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMS) consists
of three likert-type questions: "How satisfied are you with your marriage?"
"How satisfied are you with your husband/wife as a spouse?" "How satisfied
are you with your relationship with your husband/wife?" This scale requires
subjects to rate satisfaction (1=extremely dissatisfied to 7= extremely
satisfied). The total score ranges from three (extremely dissatisfied) to 21
(extremely satisfied) for individual respondents, and the total score accounts
for the subjects overall (final) marital satisfaction score. The KMS was
developed by Schumm et al. (1986) of Kansas State University, and it has
been tested against two reliable and valid measures of marital adjustment,
Spaniers Dyadic Adjustment Scale (1976) and Nortons Quality Marriage
Index (1983). The KMS was found to correlate substantially with both
measures, which contain more question items than the KMS scale
(Schumm, 1986).
The Conflict Resolution Styles Inventory (CRSI) consists of two parts:
self-rating and partner-rating. The two parts contain 16 identical questions,
which are allocated to four types of conflict resolution styles: conflict
engagement (e.g., launching personal attacks), positive problem solving
34


(e.g., focusing on the problems at hand), withdrawal (e.g., tuning the other
person out), and compliance (e.g., not being willing to stick up for myself).
The subjects rate how frequently (1=never and 5=always) the individual and
his or her partner use each of the styles to deal with arguments or
disagreements. A total score for one type of conflict resolution style ranges
from four (never use the style) to 20 (always use the style). Since
information regarding each subject is available from two sources (self-rating
and partner-rating), the subjects final conflict resolution style score is
measured by adding the two rating scores. The reason of using the two
added rating scores is to minimize social desirability by the respondents.
The respondents may want to make themselves look better, therefore they
might choose answers which they actually do not practice. By adding the
partners rating score, the individuals conflict resolution style scores
become more complete. The combined final total score ranges from eight to
40. The individuals conflict resolution styles are determined by the highest
total score among the four conflict resolution styles.
Both the KMS and the CRSI are published in English. In order to
conduct the survey with Japanese couples, the questionnaires had to be
translated into Japanese. The investigator provided a thorough translation
and consulted with two professional translators on the questionnaires. A
pilot survey was conducted with three Japanese couples to find out if the
questions were easily understood by Japanese. Based upon the results of
35


the pilot study, minor changes were made in the CRS1 questions, such as
not being willing to stick up for myself, was modified into a more
appropriate Japanese expression, rather than a direct translation.
In addition to KMS and CRSI, participants provided demographic
information regarding sex, age, number of children, length of marriage, how
they married (through a match-maker, falling in love, or other), educational
level (represented by four intervals ranging from less than 12 years to more
than 16 years), and annual personal income (represented by seven intervals
ranging from none to ¥9,000,000 or more, which is equivalent to US$71,000
or more).
Data Analysis
Data were analyzed to answer the following four research questions
(RQ).
RQ1: What is the level of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?
RQ2: Are there significant differences between husbands and wives
marital satisfaction?
RQ3: What conflict resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese
marriages?
RQ4: In what ways are conflict resolution styles connected to marital
satisfaction in Japanese marriages?
To answer RQ1 regarding marital satisfaction level, marital
36


satisfaction (MS) scores were run individually for 208 subjects and an
average score obtained. MS scores were calculated by adding each point
of the three MS questions: how satisfied is the individual with the marriage,
spouse, and relationship with the spouse. A total score could range from
three (extremely unsatisfied) to 21 (extremely satisfied).
For RQ2 regarding gender differences in marital satisfaction, MS
scores were assessed separately for husbands and for wives. The three MS
questions scores were calculated individually to see how each question
was responded to differently, and then added together to obtain total scores
for the comparison of husbands and wives MS. A ttest was conducted to
find the differences in the two groups.
For RQ3 regarding the most commonly used conflict resolution styles,
individual conflict resolution styles (CRSs) were identified. The Conflict
Resolution Inventory (CRI) contains two parts, self-rating and partner-rating:
therefore, the individuals self-rating score and the spouses partner-rating
score were added together to determine individual conflict resolution styles
for conflict engagement, positive problem solving, withdrawal, and
compliance. The highest score among the four CRSs was the subjects
conflict resolution style. In cases where subjects obtained less than two
points difference between four CRSs, the average scores of individual CRS
were used as yardsticks. For example, if a subject scored 24 in withdrawal
and 23 in compliance, mean withdrawal score and mean compliance score
37


from all subjects combined were used to determine which score was more
appropriate for the subjects CRS.
For RQ4 regarding ways in which conflict resolution styles are related
to marital satisfaction, individual correlations were conducted to determine
relationships between the four CRSs and their MS scores.
Data were also analyzed to test the following four hypotheses (H).
H1: Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in wives will be the most
frequently used conflict resolution style in Japanese marriages.
H2: Couples in which both individuals withdraw from conflict will have
less satisfaction than couples in which both individuals engage in
positive problem solving.
H3: Individuals who perceive their partners withdraw from conflict will
have less satisfaction than individuals who perceive their partners
engage in positive problem solving.
H4: Positive problem solving conflict style will be related to higher marital
satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement,
withdrawal, and compliance.
H1 was investigated from the results of RQ3 and by computing a
frequency distribution to see how many husbands employed a withdrawal
style and how many wives employed a compliance style.
H2 was investigated by the results of RQ3 and by identifying the
couples who both employed a withdrawal conflict resolution style, and a
38


positive problem solving style. A t test was conducted to see if there were
differences between both groups in the way they responded to the marital
satisfaction scale.
H3 was investigated by identifying the individuals perceptions toward
their partners CRSs. The individuals perceptions were measured by the
partner-rating scores. A f test was conducted on the MS score between
individuals who perceived their partners withdraw and those who
perceived their partners employ positive problem solving.
H4 was investigated by conducting ANOVA with MS scores and the
four CRSs.
In the next chapter, the actual results from the analysis of collected
data will be discussed.
39


CHAPTER 3
THE RESULTS
Results of this study indicate that Japanese couples are moderately
satisfied with husbands more satisfied than wives. Positive problem solving
style is the most common conflict management style employed and yields
the highest degree of marital satisfaction compared to the other three styles.
Before presenting the results, information concerning calculation of
marital satisfaction scores and conflict resolution style scores should be
given. To analyze collected data, SPSS Base system was used. The
qualified participants data were numbered from one to 208 and paired into
104 couples, odd numbers for husbands and even numbers for wives. The
final data base contained five variables: marital satisfaction scores for
individuals, marital satisfaction scores for couples, conflict resolution style for
self, conflict resolution style for partner, and conflict resolution style for
perception of partner. Since all answers were numerically indicated, each
number was directly transferred to the variables.
The first research question stated, What is the level of marital
satisfaction in Japanese marriages? The average score of 208 subjects
marital satisfaction (MS) was 16.3 points on a 21 point scale, which was
slightly higher than the moderate level (12-16 points). The MS score
40


resulted in 8.2% of the subjects scoring 21 full points (extremely satisfied),
34.3% scoring higher than 18 points (very satisfied), 79.2% scoring higher
than 15 points (somehow satisfied), 20.8% scoring between 14 and 10
points (dont know), 3.4% scoring lower than 9 points (somehow
unsatisfied), 1.5% scoring lower than 6 points (very unsatisfied), and 0.5%
scoring 3 points (extremely unsatisfied).
Table 3.1
Marital Satisfaction Scores between Husbands and Wives
_N Mean SDs df t Sig.
Total marital husbands 104 16.7404 3.06 206 2.31 .011
satisfaction wives 104 15.7404 3.17
How satisfied husbands 104 5.6058 1.06 206 2.16 .016
in marriage wives 104 5.2885 1.08
How satisfied husbands 103 5.6117 1.03 205 2.26 .013
with the spouse wives 104 5.2692 1.14
How satisfied husbands 104 5.5385 1.05 206 2.49 .007
in relationship wives 104 5.1346 1.28
The second research question stated, "Are there significant
differences between husbands and wives marital satisfaction in Japanese
marriages? Table 3.1 above shows the result of f test for MS scores
between husbands and wives. Husbands MS scores were higher than the
wives in all aspects. Regarding three MS questions, husbands average
scores were 5.60 in the marriage, 5.61 in spouse, and 5.54 in the
relationship on a 7 point scale. Wives scores were 5.29 in the marriage,
41


5.27 in spouse, and 5.13 in the relationship. Husbands average MS score
in total was 16.74 points and the wives was 15.74 points. One point
difference between husbands and wives scores showed statistically
significant on a 21 point scale, however not significant practically between
somehow satisfied (15) and very satisfied (18).
The third research question stated, What conflict resolution styles are
most commonly used in Japanese marriages? The results showed positive
problem resolution style was the most used style, followed by withdrawal,
conflict engagement, and compliance. Forty three percent of all participants
employed positive problem solving, 26% employed withdrawal, 16%
employed conflict engagement, and 14% employed compliance (1%
missing). Husbands conflict resolution styles were 46% in positive problem
solving, 30% in withdrawal, 13% in conflict engagement, and 11% in
compliance. Wives conflict resolution styles were 41% in positive problem
solving, 22% in withdrawal, 20% in conflict engagement, and 17% in
compliance. Husbands conflict resolution styles were clearly divided into
two groups, positive problem solving and withdrawal, whereas wives styles
were distributed over all four styles. Wives used more conflict engagement
style and compliance style than husbands.
The fourth research question stated, In what way are conflict
resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?"
The group which employed a positive problem resolution style had a mean
42


score of 17.0 on the MS scale. The group which employed conflict
engagement scored 15.9, the compliance group 15.9, the withdrawal group
15.4, respectively. When their spouses employed a positive problem
solving style, the subjects MS score was 17.4 points, compliance 16.3,
conflict engagement 15.8, and withdrawal 14.6 respectively.
Hypothesis 1 stated, Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in
wives will be the most frequently used conflict resolution style in Japanese
marriages. Hypothesis 1 did not receive support. Positive problem solving
style was the most commonly used in both husbands and wives. Forty
seven percent of the husbands (n=48), and 41% of the wives (n=42)
employed a positive problem solving style. Withdrawal in husbands was the
second most common style with 30%, followed by conflict engagement 12%
and compliance 11 %. Compliance in wives was the least used style with
17%. Withdrawal was 21% and conflict engagement was 20% for the wives.
Hypothesis 2 stated, Couples in which both individuals withdraw
from conflict will have less satisfaction than couples in which both
individuals engage in positive problem solving. Hypothesis 2 received
strong support. In 29 of the 104 couples (27.9%) both subjects employed a
positive problem solving style. Those 29 couples had an average MS score
of 34.8, out of a possible 42. In 11 of the couples (10.6%) both subjects
employed a withdrawal style and their average MS score was 28.2. Since
the average MS score of all 104 couples was 32.5 points, the difference of
43


6.6 points between these two groups were both statistically and practically
significant. When adding couples marital satisfaction scores together, 6-11
indicates extremely unhappy, 12-17 indicates very unhappy, 18-23
indicates somewhat unhappy, 24- 29 indicate they dont know, 30 35
indicates somehow happy, 36 41 indicates very happy, and 42 extremely
happy. The MS score 34.8 was close to very happy, and 28.2 was lower
than somehow happy." Table 3.2 shows the result of f test for the couples
MS scores between positive problem solving style and withdrawal style.
Table 3.2
The Couples Marital Satisfaction Scores between
Positive Problems Solving Style and Withdrawal Style
Couple's
Conflict Resolution Stvle N Mean SDs df_ t Siq.
Positive problem solving 29 34.76 3.97 38 4.53 .00
Withdrawal 11 28.18 4.45
Hypothesis 3 stated, Individuals who perceive that their partners
withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who
perceive that their partners engage in positive problem solving. Hypothesis
3 received partial support. Forty one percent of participants believed that
their partners engaged in positive problem solving and their average MS
score was 17.5. Whereas 23% of the subjects perceived their partners
withdraw from conflict, and their average MS score was 15.5. The difference
44


between the two styles was 2 points. This difference was significant
statistically on a 21 point scale. However, practically both scores fell in a
same category between somewhat satisfied and very satisfied. When
subjects perceived their partners employing conflict engagement, MS score
was 15.9, and compliance was 15.9 respectively.
Table 3.3
Comparison of Marital Satisfaction Scores between
Three Ratings and Four Conflict Resolution Styles
Conflict Positive
Ratinqs Enaaaement Problem Solvina Withdrawal Compliance
Self 15.9 17.0 15.4 15.9
Partner 15.8 17.4 14.6 16.3
Perceived partner 15.9 17.5 15.5 15.9
Hypothesis 4 stated, Positive problem solving conflict style will be
related to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict
engagement, withdrawal, and compliance. Hypothesis 4 received support.
As shown in Table 3.3 above, the positive problem solving style obtained the
highest marital satisfaction score for self, partner, and perception of partner.
These scores were 17.0 points for self, 17.4 for partner, and 17.5 for
perception of partner. The withdrawal style obtained the lowest marital
satisfaction in all of three aspects; 15.4 for self, 14.6 for partner, and 15.5 for
perception of partner. Conflict engagement style obtained 15.9, 15.8, and
15.9 respectively. Compliance style obtained 15.9, 16.3, and 15.9
45


respectively. When partners employed the positive problem solving style,
the other subjects MS score was on average 2.8 points higher than when
the partners employed the withdrawal style. When subjects perceived their
partners employing the positive problem solving style, the subjects MS
score was on average 2 points higher than subjects who perceived their
partners employing the withdrawal style.
Even though all scores except one fell in between somewhat satisfied
(15) and very satisfied (18), these scores were both statistically and
practically significant. First, the results proved that a positive problem
solving style yielded the highest marital satisfaction in four conflict
management styles in each case: the subject practiced a positive problem
solving style, the subjects spouse practiced a positive problem solving style,
and the subjects perceived his or her spouse practicing a positive problem
solving style. Second, it also proved that in each case a withdrawal style
yielded the lowest marital satisfaction in four styles. Table 3.4 shows the
result of ANOVA for the correlation between marital satisfaction and conflict
resolution styles.
In summary, two of the hypothesis received strong support, one
received partial support, and one was unsupported. In general, Japanese
married couples are moderately satisfied (RQ1), with husbands expressing a
little more satisfaction than wives (RQ 2). The positive problem resolution
style is the most common conflict management style employed in Japanese
46


marriage (RQ 3), and yields the highest degree of marital satisfaction
compared to other three conflict management styles (RQ 4).
In the next chapter these results will be discussed more broadly.
Limitations of this investigation will be considered, and extended research
suggestions will be proposed.
Table 3.4
ANOVA Summary Table
Four Conflict Resolution Styles X Marital Satisfaction
Sum of Mean
Source df Sauares Sauares F Siq.
Between Groups 3 89.7616 29.9205 3.083 .028
Within Groups 202 1960.1024 9.7035
Total 205 2049.8641
47


CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION
Personal relationships between Japanese husbands and wives, and
the correlation between their conflict resolution styles and marital
satisfaction were the focus of this investigation. The study demonstrates that
findings of U.S. communication scholars are applicable to Japanese
marriages, regardless of significant cultural and communication style
differences. In both cultures, marital satisfaction seems determined by a
combination of communication styles and patterns of conflict resolution.
This chapter is divided into three sections. Section one will restate
each individual research question, briefly summarize the results, then
interpret those results based upon knowledge of the existing literature.
Section two will present and explain the limitations of the current study. The
third and final section will explore directions for future research.
Discussion of the Results
The first research question investigated in this study was, "What is the
level of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? The majority of
Japanese subjects in the survey reported that they were more
thansomewhat satisfied with their marriages. The score was higher than
expected from the review of Japanese literature. Use of the snowball
48


survey method, with core persons delivering the survey to couples in their
personal network, may have skewed the results. Similarly, only couples with
relatively good marriages may have agreed to participate.
However, satisfaction ranked lower in the current study than was
reported in two previous studies conducted by Japanese scholars (Sodei &
Tuzuki, 1985; Takahashi, 1991) in which their sampled couples showed
high levels of marital satisfaction. Age differences may have been a factor in
the lower level of marital satisfaction over the previous research, as studies
by both Sodei and Tuzuki and Takahashi sampled elderly couples who had
been married for a longer period of time than the subjects in the current
study. They were educated before World War II in the traditional Japanese
educational system, and had conducted their marriages within an extended
family structure based on conventional social values. Their concepts of
marital satisfaction probably differs significantly from those of the younger
participants of the present study.
The current study confirmed the previous study of Sodei and Tuzuki
that marital satisfaction scores are correlated between husbands and wives.
For example, when a husband scored high on marital satisfaction so would
his wife. When a wife scored low on satisfaction so would her husband.
The current study did not confirm the previous study of Kamo that both
husbands and wives marital satisfaction are directly related to husbands
income, neither did the current study find any correlation between marital
49


satisfaction and the length of marriage, and marital satisfaction and how
couples married (by arrangement, by falling in love, and other).
The questionnaire regarding marital satisfaction consisted of three
questions: how satisfied was the respondent with his/her marriage, how
satisfied was the respondent with his/her spouse, and how satisfied was the
respondent with his/her relationship. Satisfied in marriage asked overall
satisfaction toward his/her marriage which included all factors in marriage
such as family relations, financial condition, social status. "Satisfied in
relationship focused on husband/wife relationship only. Among those three
questions, wives scored with marriage the highest, and husbands scored
with spouse the highest. Satisfaction with the relationship scored the
lowest with both husbands and wives.
These results are quite understandable in light of the Japanese
literature review. Satisfaction with marriage is influenced by multiple factors,
not only from their partners, such as couples family members and relatives,
their social status in the communities, and their financial stability. In the
current study, the wives might evaluate these factors the most among three
classified marital satisfactions. On the other hand, husbands might evaluate
their wives contribution as their caretakers the most. The lowest score of
satisfaction with relationships in both husbands and wives indicated an
example of characteristics of Japanese marriages. Probably because of
their traditional social norm, Japanese couples take their spouses for
50


granted and do not pay much attention to each other. Yet, they might expect
to receive more intimate attention from their partners in their emotional level.
The second research question asked, Are there significant
differences between husbands and wives marital satisfaction in Japanese
marriages?" Even though the statistics in Table 3.1 showed significant
differences, practically there were no significant differences reported
between husbands and wives in this study. Both husbands and wives were
more than somewhat satisfied with their marriages, although reported
satisfaction for wives was a little lower than that of husbands. The wives
lower satisfaction confirms previous studies conducted by Japanese
scholars (Nagatsu, 1987; Sodei & Tuzuki, 1985; Takahashi, 1991). Lower
satisfaction in wives might be caused by their feelings of unfairness in
marriage. In the current study, all of the husbands were primary providers in
their households, and 58% of wives were employed either as part-timers or
permanent employees. Since Japan is a traditional male-dominated
society, husbands are usually exempted from most household chores even
when their wives also contribute to the families as co-providers. Wives
dural roles as providers and caretakers might induce the feelings of
unfairness in their marriages.
The third research question investigated in this thesis asked, What
conflict resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese marriages?
Surprisingly, positive problem solving was the most common style of conflict
51


management reported in the sampled marriages. The review of Japanese
literature reveals that Japanese couples do not communicate nor interact
much with each other, and that they tend to avoid confrontation. Therefore,
the investigator expected that Japanese couples, especially husbands,
would use a withdrawal style most commonly. Similarly, the expectation
was that wives would use a compliance style the most, since they suppress
their emotions toward their husbands. Forty-four percent of all subjects in
this study were employed a positive problem solving style, and that possibly
contributed to higher level of marital satisfaction than expected.
The fourth research question investigated in this study was, In what
ways are conflict resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in
Japanese marriages? When couples employed a positive problem solving
style, their marital satisfaction score ranked the highest, and when couples
employed a withdrawal style, their score ranked the lowest. When couples
confront problems and have disagreements, the conflicts bring them
satisfaction if the couples interact with each other in a constructive manner.
The same conflicts could bring them dissatisfaction in their marriages when
the couples do not confront their disagreements straightforwardly, and avoid
interaction with each other. Marital satisfaction depends on how couples
manage their conflicts. The connection between conflict resolution styles
and marital satisfaction was clearly demonstrated. The results of this
research question suggest that findings of U.S. scholars are also applicable
52


to Japanese married couples.
The first hypothesis states, Withdrawal in husbands and compliance
in wives will be the most used conflict resolution style in Japanese
marriages. Unexpectedly, the results indicated that withdrawal ranked as
the second most often used resolution style, and compliance as the least
used style in both husbands and wives. In this survey, three out of 10
husbands used the withdrawal style, and two out of 10 wives used the
compliance style.
However, styles employed by husbands and wives reveal marked
differences. Husbands more frequently than their wives use a positive
problem solving style and a withdrawal style. A combination of these two
styles characterize 77% of all husbands. Wives use the conflict engagement
style and the compliance style more often than do husbands. A combination
of these two styles account for 38% of all wives. The gender difference in
resolution styles may be caused by daily living environments. All husbands
in this study were primary providers in their own household. Their working
environments provided ongoing opportunities to expand their range of
human interactions, solve problems, and confront daily problems. On the
other hand, more than 42% of wives in this study were not employed. Since
they stayed at home, wives may have had fewer opportunities to develop
problem solving skills, and/or express their feelings effectively. These more
restricted environments may influence their frequent use of both conflict
53


engagement style and compliance style when facing problems with their
husbands.
The second hypothesis, Couples in which both individuals withdraw
from conflict will have less satisfaction than couples in which both
individuals engage in positive problem solving, was strongly supported.
When both individuals managed their conflicts positively, they reported very
high satisfaction with their marriages; when both partners withdrew from
their conflict, they expressed mutual dissatisfaction. According to the
questions on the Conflict Resolution Inventory (Kurdek, 1994) positive
problem solving is characterized by such things as discussing differences
constructively, focusing on problems at hand, patiently negotiating, showing
willingness to compromise, and finding alternative solutions. These positive
interactions and constructive communication practices led the couples to a
higher level of marital satisfaction. Similarly, withdrawal is characterized by
such things as refusal to talk when confronted with conflict, remaining silent
for long time, tuning the partners out, acting distant, and showing little
interest in their partner. Their low level of marital satisfaction is the result of
destructive interaction and negative communication practices. With this
result, the existence of a connection between conflict resolution styles and
marital satisfaction has been demonstrated again.
The third hypothesis, Individuals who perceive that their partners
withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who
54


perceive that their partners engage in positive problem solving," was
supported. Marital satisfaction actually ranked the highest when individuals
perceived that their partners were employing a positive problem solving
style. Conversely, marital satisfaction ranked the lowest when partners
withdrew from conflict. The findings of U.S. scholars from American couples
are consistent with Japanese couples in this study despite their cultural
differences. A connection between conflict resolution styles and marital
satisfaction is demonstrated again by the results of the current study. The
literature review revealed that Japanese wives repeatedly expressed their
sadness and hopelessness toward their husbands (Iwao, 1993). They did
not engage in conversation because wives anticipated a negative reaction
from their husbands. This perception produced a distance from their
husbands that helped perpetuate a vicious circle.
The fourth hypothesis, Positive problem solving style will be related
to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement,
withdrawal, and compliance, was strongly supported. Of the four conflict
resolution styles, positive problem solving had the strongest positive
correlation with marital satisfaction. Interestingly, the individuals who started
arguments by launching personal attacks or throwing insults achieved
higher satisfaction scores than individuals who avoided the problems by
keeping silent and keeping distance from their spouse. The study suggests
that both husbands and wives feel better expressing explosive emotions
55


than suppressing problems.
A lack of communication between spouses is at the very center of
dissatisfaction with marital relationships. The more couples engage in
conversation, the more they express satisfaction with their marriages. By
utilizing the conflict resolution styles of positive problem solving, conflict
engagement, or compliance, individuals somehow achieve some form of
satisfactory interaction. However, individuals who withdraw from conflicts do
not conduct any form of interaction. Therefore, they achieve little marital
satisfaction.
The review of Japanese literature suggests that Japanese married
couples do not interact much. Husbands devote their time and energy to
their companies and wives design their own social lives apart from their
husbands. Unlike American couples who value romance within their
marriages, Japanese couples do not evaluate the quality of their marriages
by the level of intimacy. Instead, they value practicality, utilizing traditional
gender roles where husbands are providers and wives act as caretakers.
Women value the social and financial stability of their husbands, including
his educational and family background, his place of employment and
potential for promotion, and his wage earning power. Men value the social
status and creditability that marriage brings, as single men are considered
less credible in Japanese society than married men (Kato, 1995). Men also
56


evaluate wives in terms of how well they can manage household chores.
Once married, both partners devote more time and energy toward the
development of individual interests than to the development of the couples
mutual interests. Especially, husbands pay little attention to developing their
intimate marriage relationship. When the couples start to feel dissonance in
their marriages, wives typically nurture alternative relationships with their
children and friends; husbands expand relationships with co-workers.
Neither gives priority to the marital bond.
Why then did the participants in this study express an acceptable
level of marital satisfaction? Their positive conflict resolution style is one
answer. Another possible answer may be found in practical issues as the
literature review revealed. In the current study, 42% of wives were not
employed, and 30% fell in the bracket of an annual income of less than one
million yen, which is equivalent to $8,000. These numbers indicate that 72%
of all wives in this sample were dependent upon their husbands income.
When husbands provide financial stability, wives can enjoy their lives in
many ways, regardless of the couples level of intimacy. Wives handle all
the household chores, freeing husbands from their obligations in the home.
Satisfaction with their spouses contribution may have led marital
satisfaction scores higher than expected.
As Japanese society has changed from the influence of western
countries, especially the United States, so too have their marriages. The
57


rising divorce rate is one indicator of Western influence. Traditionally,
Japanese couples have evaluated their marriages with long-term
perceptions of loss and gain, happiness and unhappiness, satisfaction and
dissatisfaction. Patience has been thought to be one of the virtues of a good
wife. These values may well change in the near future.
Limitations of the Study
There are three limitations of the current study. The first, the married
couples were chosen by the snowball method using core persons who
distributed questionnaires through their personal networks of relatives,
friends and acquaintances. Adopting this method resulted in a high return
rate for questionnaires; however, it may have limited the participants to those
who had good marriages. The higher level of marital satisfaction than
expected in this study might be the result of adopting this survey method. If
the couples were uncomfortable with the study, they would not participate.
Similarly, if one side of the couple was not willing to become a subject, the
couple did not participate. In fact two wives did respond as individuals
because their husbands declined.
A second limitation of the current study is selecting study participants
from a pool of married couples instead of married individuals. Because of
their traditional male-dominated social systems and customs, Japanese
couples are not accustomed to doing things together. Therefore, they may
58


have taken participation on the survey together as a formal event. This
formality might have unduly influenced their responses. Selecting study
participants from married individuals might lead the results differently
because of its casualness.
The third limitation is adopting American measures of marital
satisfaction and conflict resolution inventories for the study of Japanese
marriages. Translation of one language to another language always
involves risks of losing and/or distorting the original meaning of questions
because of language and cultural differences. Also the ways of expressing
their feelings may be different between two cultures. As a result, the survey
questions could not thoroughly induce the feelings of Japanese respondents
in sensitive manner. For instance, many Japanese couples avoid their
conflict by not discussing about their problems while they are engaging in
conversation. This withdrawal practice was not listed in the questionnaire.
Even within the same conflict resolution style such as withdrawal style, their
ways of expressing the style might be different between Japanese and
Americans.
Directions for Future Research
Four directions are suggested for further research. The first direction
is to have randomly selected larger sample of married couples for studying
the correlation between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction in
59


Japanese marriage. The current study contributed to reveal the existence of
the connection in Japanese marriages. By studying a larger random sample
from the findings of this study, the connection between conflict resolution
styles and marital satisfaction will become more concrete.
The second direction is directly compare Japanese and American
marriages by gathering data from the two groups. It could reveal
fundamental likeness and differences between the two cultures. It could
also reveal if the personal relationships of married couples varies in
cultures.
The third direction for future research is to study the effect of
Japanese cultural communication practices, such as ki kubari (a social norm
in which being watchful and doing things before being asked are stressed),
ishin denshin (you know even if I dont say it), and amae (the feeling of
nurturing concern for and dependence on another). Studying these
practices could contribute not only to deeper understanding of Japanese
marriages, but also to Japanese communication styles in general.
The fourth direction is to focus on the relationship of Japanese
married couples from the point of intimacy. Since married couples intimacy
level is less valued in Japan than in the U.S., the study of intimacy could
yield further insights into Japanese marriages. Japanese attitudes toward
intimacy may well be the critical factor in understanding the mechanics of
marital satisfaction.
60


APPENDIX A
Informed Consent Form
I, Harumi Kato, am a graduate student in Communication Department
of University of Colorado at Denver. I would like to invite you to participate in
a study of the correlation between conflict resolution styles and marital
satisfaction. The primary purpose of this study is to measure Japanese
married couples marital satisfaction by using their conflict resolution styles
as a predictor. You will need 15 ~ 20 minutes to complete the survey.
Because the study deals with your marital satisfaction and how you
manage conflict in your marriage, there is possibility that the completion of
survey may make you uncomfortable. You may drop out of this study anytime
you like. Additionally, I am willing to answer any questions before, during,
and after you complete this survey.
I hope that completing the survey will give you a great confidence and
understandings of your marriage.
Any information obtained in connection with this study will remain
confidential and your name will not be connected to this research in anyway.
The survey you complete will have a number on it, not your name, and will
be handled by the number. In addition, no one will see the survey but
myself.
61


If you have any questions about this research or your rights as
aresearch subject, please contact me at (303)456-9947 in the U.S. or
(045)771-3333 in Japan, and/or you may contact my advisor professor Mike
Monsoure of Communication Department of University Colorado at Denver
at (303)556-8478, or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, CU Denver
Building suite 700, (303)556-2550.
Please sign and return a copy of this form, and keep a copy with you. I
thank you very much for your participation.
Your Signature:_______________________________________________________
Date:__________________________
62


Informed Consent Form in Japanese
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7 FA-ftf-SHS Mike Monsour (303) 556-8478
I^A^x^A$$ Office of Academic and Studen Affairs
(3 03) 556-2550
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63


APPENDIX B
Instruction to the Core Persons
You have_______envelops in the package. Each envelop contains two
sets of questionnaires for a couple. Please hand out each envelop to the
couples you chose. Qualified couples should; 1) be born after 1941, 2) have
been married for more than five years.
A set of questionnaires consists of five parts.
1) Informed Consent
2) Demographic Question
3) Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale
4) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating)
5) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Partner-Rating)
1) Informed consent is required by the Human Research Committee
at the University of Colorado at Denver. This practice is common in the U.S.
2) Demographic questions are needed for demographic use only.
The information obtained here will remain strictly confidential.
3) , 4), and 5) are survey questionnaires.
When you hand out the envelopes to your subjects, please explain
the following to the couples.
1) The questionnaire should be filled out individually.
64


2) The couple should not discuss the questions and/or their
answers with each other.
3) After finishing, put both sets of the questionnaires back into the
envelope, seal it and return to you. Or they can return the materials to
me directly, if they want to.
Please collect all envelopes by May____, and send back to me.
Harumi Kato c/o Hiromi Hyodo
3-37-2, Noukendai
Kanazawaku, Yokohama 236
Or I will come to collect them at your place on May_.
Thank you very much for your assistance on this matter.
65


Instruction to the Core Persons in Japanese

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66


APPENDIX C
Cover Letter and Questionnaires
There are two sets of questionnaire in the envelop. Please fill out the
questionnaire individually. Do not discuss with your partner any questions
you are asked.
A set of questionnaire consists of five parts.
1) Informed Consent
2) Demographic Questions
3) Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale
4) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating)
5) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Partner-Rating)
When you and your partner have finished, please put the
questionnaires back into the envelop, seal it, and return to your core person
or return to me directly.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at;
Harumi Kato
4595 Saulsbury St.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
U.S.A.
Phone (303)456-9947
Fax (303)456-9897
e-mail: harumi@ossinc.net
67


or April 20 ~ May 18 I am in Japan at;
c/o Hiromi Hyodo
3-37-2, Noukendai
Kanazawaku, Yokohama
JAPAN
Phone/Fax (045)771-3333
68


Demographic Questionnaire
Your sex: Male or Female (circle one)
Your birth year: 19________
How many children do you have? _________
If any, age(s) of children_____,______,_____
How long have you been married with your partner?
______years_________months
Was your marriage arranged or fall-in-love?
____Arranged ____Fall-in-love _____Others
How many years do/did you go to school?
____less than 12 years
____12 years
____13 -16 years
____more than 16 years
Please check one about your annual income status.
___________none
____less than ¥1,000,000
____Â¥1,000,000 2,999,999
____Â¥3,000,000 4,999,999
____Â¥5,000,000 6,999,999
____Â¥7,000,000 8,999,999
____more than ¥9,000,000
69


Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale
Instructions: Using the scale below, circle the number that indicates best fits
of your feelings.
Extremely Very Somewhat Somewhat Very Extremely
Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfaied Mixed Satisfied Satisfied Satisfied
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. How satisfied are you with your marriage?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2. How satisfied are you with your husband/wife as a spouse?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
3. How satisfied are your with your relationship with your husband/wife?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
70


The Conflict Resolution Inventory
(Self-Rating)
Instruction: Using the scale 1=Never and 5=Always, rate how frequently you
use each of the following styles to deal with arguments or disagreements
with your partner.
1. Launching personal attacks.
1 2 3 4 5
2. Focusing on the problem at hand.
1 2 3 4 5
3. Remaining silent for long periods of time.
1 2 3 4 5
4. Not being willing to stick up for myself.
1 2 3 4 5
5. Exploding and getting out of control.
1 2 3 4 5
6. Sitting down and discussing differences constructively.
1 2 3 4 5
7. Reaching a limit, shutting down, and refusing to talk any further.
1 2 3 4 5
71


8. Being too compliant.
12 3 4
9. Getting carried away and saying things that arent mean.
12 3 4
10. Finding alternatives that are acceptable to each of us.
12 3 4
11. Tuning the other person out.
12 3 4
12. Not defending my position.
12 3 4
13. Throwing insults and digs.
12 3 4
14. Negotiating and compromising.
12 3 4
15. Withdrawing, acting distant and not interested.
12 3 4
16. Giving in with little attempt to present my side of the issue.
12 3 4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
72


Conflict Resolution Inventory
(Partner-Rating)
Instructions: Using the scale 1=Never and 5=Always, rate how frequently
your partner uses each of the following styles to deal with arguments or
disagreements with you.
1. Launching personal attacks.
1 2 3
2. Focusing on the problem at hand.
1 2 3
3. Remaining silent for long periods of time.
t 2 3
4
4. Not being willing to stick up for myself.
1 2 3
5. Exploding and getting out of control.
1 2 3
6. Sitting down and discussing differences constructively.
12 3 4
7. Reaching a limit, shutting down, and refusing to talk any further.
1 2 3 4 5
73


8. Being too compliant.
12 3 4
9. Getting carried away and saying things that arent mean.
12 3 4
10. Finding alternatives that are acceptable to each of us.
12 3 4
11. Tuning the other person out.
12 3 4
12. Not defending my position.
12 3 4
13. Throwing insults and digs.
12 3 4
14. Negotiating and compromising.
12 3 4
15. Withdrawing, acting distant and not interested.
12 3 4
16. Giving in with little attempt to present my side of the issue.
12 3 4
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
74


Cover Letter and Questionnaires in Japanese
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U.S.A.
Phone (303)456-9947
Fax (303 >456-9897
e-mail: harumi@ossinc.net
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Full Text

PAGE 1

A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES IN JAPAN BY APPLYING AMERICAN FINDINGS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION STYLES TO DETERMINE MARITAL SATISFACTION by Harumi Kate 1 B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1993 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Communication and Theatre 1998

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Harumi Kato has been approved by Michael Monsour
PAGE 3

Kato, Harumi (M.A., Communication and theatre A Study of the Relationships of Husbands and Wives in Japan by Applying American Findings of Conflict Resolution Styles to Determine Marital Satisfaction Thesis directed by Professor Michael Monsour ABSTRACT This research focused on the connection between marital satisfaction and conflict resolution styles in the relationships of Japanese husbands and wives by applying the findings of U.S. communication scholars. From a survey of 1 04 married couples, levels of marital satisfaction were investigated in connection with four conflict resolution styles: conflict engagement, positive problem solving, withdrawal, and compliance. The results confirmed the findings of U.S. scholars and suggest that the conflict resolution_ styles are applicable to Japanese marriages as an indicator of marital satisfaction in those marriages. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. recommend its publication. Si Michael Monsour iii

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the faculty of the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Denver for their immense support for this work. My deepest gratitude goes to my advisor, Mike Monsour, who devoted his time and energy with endless patience to this work, and to my committee members; Samuel Betty for his accurate advice in statistics, and Barbara Holmes for her warm encouragement during the course of my difficulties. I would also like to extend my appreciation to Professor S. Sawai and her graduate school student M. Oishi of the Department of Education, Akita University in Japan for their great assistancein finding the Japanese articles for this study. This thesis would not have been possible without the extensive help and guidance from all of them.

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CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW ................ 1 Problem Statement ............................................................ 1 Uterature Review .............................................................. 2 Historical Background of Marriage in Japan . . . . 3 Current Situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Social Expectations in Terms of Gender Roles in Marriage .. ... .. .. .. . ... . .. . . . . . . . . 8 Problems in Marriage .. . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 9 Communication Style and Conflict Resolution Style in Japanese Marriages . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . .. .. . 1 2 Studies on Marital Satisfaction in Japanese Married Couples . . .. . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . 1 6 Research Questions and Hypotheses . .. . . .. . . . 28 2. RESEARCHMET"HODS ...................................................... 30 Introduction ......................................................................... 30 Subjects.............................................................................. 31 Procedures......................................................................... 32 Measures............................................................................ 34 Data Analysis..................................................................... 36 v

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3. THERESULTS ....................................................................... 40 4. DISCUSSION ......................................................................... 48 Discussion ofthe Results .. ... ... .. ... ... .. .. ...... .. ... ... .. .. .. ... 48 Limitations of the Study................................................... 58 Directions for Future Research ....................................... 59 APPENDIX A. INFORMED CONSENT FORM INENGLISH .......................................................................... 61 INJAPANESE ....................................................................... 63 B. INSTRUCTION TO THE CORE PERSON INENGLISH .......................................................................... 64 INJAPANESE ....................................................................... 66 C. COVER LETTER AND QUESTIONNAIRES INENGLISH .......................................................................... 67 INJAPANESE ....................................................................... 75 REFERENCES ................................................................................................ 82 vi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW The connection between conflict resolution styles of Japanese husbands and wives and how the styles contribute to their marital satisfaction is the primary focus of this investigation. This study surveys 1 04 married couples using two questionnaires, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (Schumm et al., 1986) and the Conflict Resolution Inventory (Kurdek, 1994). This paper also discusses current marriage trends in Japan from broader cultural and historical perspectives. Problem Statement Because of the high divorce rate in the United States, American social scientists have been searching for predictors of marital success for many years. From their investigations, some communication scholars believe that marital satisfaction is determined by a combination of communication patterns and ways in which couples manage their conflicts (e.g., Gottman, 1994). Though conflict in American marriages has been extensively investigated (Fitzpatrick, 1988; Floyd & Markman, 1984; Gottman, 1994; Kurdek, 1995; Locke & Wallance, 1959; Rauch, 1974), marital conflict in other countries has been generally ignored. One such country is Japan. 1

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The divorce rate in Japan has steadily increased since 1990, yet is still only half the U.S. rate. Statistics show that 50% of all marriages in America and 25% of all marriages in Japan end in divorce (White Report, 1996). If the findings of U.S. communication scholars are applicable to other cultures, one could reason that the Japanese divorce rate is lower because Japanese couples manage their conflicts better than American couples, thus achieve higher marital satisfaCtion. However, results from investigations in the U.S. should not necessarily be generalized to Japanese marriages because both communication styles and conflict resolution practices are quite different from those of Americans (Barnlund, 1989; Gudykunst, 1994; Hall & Hall, 1987; Klopf, 1991). Nevertheless, results of the U.S. investigations may be used as a basis for examining whether conflict resolution styles also determine marital satisfaction in Japan. Literature Review This chapter addresses (a) the historical background of marriage in Japan, (b) the current situation, (c) social expectations in term of gender roles in marriage, (d) problems in marriage, (e) communication styles and conflict resolution styles in marriage, and (f) a review of studies on marital satisfaction in Japanese married couples. Because of the paucity of Japanese research published in American journals, most of the articles used in this study were obtained through the assistance of the Family Study Unit, 2

PAGE 9

Department of Education, Akita University, Japan, and translated by the investigator with great care. Historical Background of Marriage in Japan Japanese marriages have changed dramatically since World War II. The postwar Japanese Constitution (The Constitution), which was drafted by the U.S. General Headquarters Occupation staff and enacted in 1947, introduced legal rights and equality for individuals within a marriage for the first time in Japanese history (Ninomiya, 1996). Article 24, Section 1 of The Constitution clearly states that marriage "has to be established by the two individuals, a man and a woman who desire to marry. The couple should maintain their marriage with equal rights and mutual cooperation" (p.13). This new spirit of the Jaw conveyed and introduced the "dignity of an individual" and the principle of equal rights between man and woman which had been long forgotten in Japanese history (Ninomiya). Before Japan was organized as a nation in the seventh century, women had higher social status and power than men in a matrilineal society. By the ninth century, the concept of men as dominants and women as followers became concrete in Japanese society together with establishment of their political systems (Inoue, 1965). Before The Constitution, marriage was practiced for the family, not for the individual, under Meiji Civil Law. When a woman married, she entered 3

PAGE 10

into the man's family and became one of his family members (Nishimura, 1981 ). The relationships with other family members took precedence over the relationship with her husband. When a woman married, she lost her rights to engage in legal activities, such as dealing with properties, applying for loans from banks, and entering into contracts (Ninomiya, 1996). A wife was treated as an incompetent individual and all her legal rights belonged to her husband. Up until World War II ended, women were educated to become good mothers and wives as a matter of governmental policy (Kanda et al., 1992). In this system of absolute order, with men as superiors and women as inferiors, wives had no choice but to devote themselves to domestic duties and child bearing in their husbands' extended family. Husbands and wives were clearly separated in their roles and activities according to their gender. If the wife could not have a child, the husband could easily divorce her, as producing the next generation was an essential factor to maintain ie structure (a multigenerational property-owning corporate group which continues through time) (Takeda, 1970) for the family. Most women accepted this reality as their destiny, and had no doubts about following these societal expectations. When the postwar Constitution introduced the concept that marriage has to be established by the free will of a man and a woman, not for a family, and husband and wife could actually possess equal rights as individuals, it produced shock and suffering that jarred traditional 4

PAGE 11

social values into new social rules. The change produced many conflicts in the relationships between husbands and wives (Tanaka, 1968). Nagatsu (1993) divides the postwar husband and wife relationship into four stages. Stage I-19451955: Even with the new Constitution introduced, the principle of old law and societal expectations still strongly influenced the husband and wife relationship. Husbands possessed sole power as superiors, and wives obeyed them. Stage II-19561975: Because of the national high economic growth policy, the gender roles of husbands as providers and wives as supporters were strongly pursued and were still deeply ingrained. Japanese society recognized the husband and wife relationship as an equal relationship because it was based on a division of labor. Stage Ill-1976,.., 1985: Along with low economic growth and an increasing number of working women, the social norm regarding gender roles changed. The United Nation's International Women's Year influenced Japanese law makers, and people realized that gender roles were a form of segregation by sex. Stage IV after 1986: Husbands and wives started to develop equal relationships as individuals with the help of new laws such as the Equal Opportunity of Employment Act in 1986, and Child-bearing Leave Act in 1992. Today, a half century after World War II, the spirit of the Constitution has finally penetrated the consciousness of the majority of married couples between the ages of 25 and 35. As a result, Japanese society has started to 5

PAGE 12

accept individuals' preferences and choices concerning marriage (Kanda, Kimura, & Noguchi, 1992; lwao, 1993; Ninomiya, 1996). The average age of marriage for both sexes has risen, the divorce rate has increased, and the number of single people has increased (White Report, 1995 & 1996). Current Situation According to National Demographics in Japan 1996, the average age of marriage for men was 28.5 years and for women was 26.4. The average age of married individuals has been steadily increasing since 1970. The fact that 50% of women between 25 and 29 years of age are single indicates that women in their late 20s may prefer to be single {White Report, 1995). Social preference surveys about marriage also revealed that the number of women who think they should be married has decreased from 80% to 44% in the past 20 years (Ninomiya, 1996). Another study also reported that the number of Japanese who think women should get married has decreased from 82.1% in 1972 to 46.2% in 1990 (White Report, 1995). In Japan, 795,040 couples were married in 1996 and 206,966 couples were divorced in the same year. This is equivalent to 25% of all marriages ending in divorce. This is the first time that more than 200,000 couples were divorced in one year since Japan started to record the demographics of marriage and divorce in 1899. These statistics show that more and more Japanese individuals are 6

PAGE 13

withdrawing from marriage or are choosing not to be involved in marital relationships. However, in 1994 the International Study of Sociology revealed that compared to other developed countries including Germany, Italy, Australia, the U.S., and England, Japan showed both the lowest divorce rate and the lowest social acceptance of divorce in the countries studied. This study showed that 33.3% of men and 31.8% of women in Japan regarded divorce as the best solution to a difficult marriage. The same study reported the U.S. rate as 47.5% of men and 46.0% of women, and Germany with 65.5% of men and 67.3% of women. The way Japanese regard marriage has changed dramatically in the past ten years, people used to marry without having any doubts. When they reached the appropriate age, societal norms dictated that marriage was the only way to make women happy (Kanda et al., 1992). This myth is no longer true: It is a fact that in the past marriage was women's ultimate dream. In the recent years women have become more realistic because they now know that they are restrained by marriage. Most women obtain jobs after graduating from school, and manage their money and time freely the same as men do. Women enjoy their freedom to the fullest. It is easy to understand that women do not want to give up their freedom for marriage .... The expectation of marriage is fading away (Kanda et al., 1992, p.112). (translated by the investigator). Thus, women realize that there are many constraints in marriage. They are becoming less willing to exchange their freedom, which they have obtained through equal education and employment opportunities, for marriage. In a survey conducted by the Economic Planning Ministry in 1995, 7

PAGE 14

41 o/o of men and 55% of women between 20 years and 59 years of age preferred being single. This percentage is higher among the younger generation, with 70% of women in their 20s and 30s preferring a single life style. Social Expectations in Terms of Gender Roles in Marriage Compared to the U.S., the idea of "man as provider" and "woman as supporter'' is still very much a part of Japanese society. A governmental survey in 1972 showed that among people over 20 years of age, 83.8% of men and 83.2% of women agreed that the husband should work as a provider while the wife should stay home as a supporter. In 1992, 20 years later, the ratio dropped to 65.7% of men and 55.6% of women believing these traditional roles (Ninomiya, 1996). Van Wolferen (1994), a Dutch journalist specializing in political economics arid living in Japan since 1962, points out that Japanese economic success after World War II largely depended on these gender roles. Ninomiya (1996) cited one example of how business enterprises worked to influence their employees and their families: In 1985, a major delivery service company sent their employees' wives a booklet titled "Guidebook for wives: How to manage your family members' health." The booklet said, "Dear wives, your household ability supports your husband and your family members. We want your husband to work hard for us. In order for him to put all his energy into our company, we would like to ask you to take good care of him and your family. You are in charge of maintaining your 8

PAGE 15

home in good condition which includes cooking, laundry, vacuuming, and so on ... (p.26) (translated by the investigator). Sodei (1990) noted that because of this contribution by wives, it was possible for husbands to put all their time and energy into their companies. Van Wolferen (1994) comments that "Japanese men are asked to marry their company" (p.67). After the economic bubble broke in Japan in 1990, business enterprises tried to strengthen their relationships with employees in order to survive rigorous global competition (Ninomiya, 1996). Problems in Marriage In a society where it is not customary for couples to do things together, husbands and wives tend to develop their own lifestyles. Both individuals cultivate closely knit networks of social acquaintances separate from their spouses (lwao, 1993). Clear gender roles make it easier to develop interests without interference from the other spouse (Sodei, 1990). Husbands, who are "married to their company," work long hours and -develop relationships with their co-workers and subordinates. Van Wolferen (1994) found that many husbands prefer to spend time with co-workers rather than their wives because they do not have mutual topics to share with their spouses (p.66), or they have become estranged from their homes because of their extended absence as a family member. On the other hand, women establish their own networks. Wives who stay home or give up their 9

PAGE 16

careers and become part-time workers develop close relationships with their children and friends. lwao (1993) points out: In the home, women criticize men for not shouldering their share of child care and then turn around and refuse to admit fathers into the closed circle of intimacy between mother and child. Their dissatisfaction with the marital relationship centers on the lack of communication with their husbands, yet they much prefer to spend time with their girlfriends (p.277). Japanese social systems have been formed and managed by men for many years. This society considers the ideal husband and wife relationship to be "a relationship like air." lwao (1993) explains that this expression "implies that relationship, like the air we breathe, is vital for the survival of both sides even though its presence is hardly felf' (p.75). Although a husband does not need to be aware of the existence of his wife nor her devotion to him, his everyday life is well maintained by her contributions. When the husband is assigned to work in another city, he often chooses to move by himself. This is called tanshin funin (the option of moving temporarily to a hew post alone, leaving one's family behind). In 1995, 31.2% of all husbands who were assigned to a new work place chose to be transferred by themselves; this rate has increased from 18.6% in 1985 (White Report, 1996). Tanshin funin happens mostly with families who have children in school (Tsuge, 1992). The practice is based in the belief that changing school in the middle of school life severely disturbs a child. If a child cannot achieve good grades, it affects his or her future, making it 10

PAGE 17

difficult to enter good universities and thus obtain solid employment. Therefore, it is more important that the wife stay with the children rather than move with her husband (lwao, 1993). Since Japan is highly integrated, hierarchical and structured vertically, people traditionally disregarded horizontal relationships such as marital relationships (Kondo, 1981; Nakama, 1991; Ninomiya 1996). As the family relationship is also formed vertically from grandparents to parents to children, married individuals tend to place a higher priority on relationships with their children and/or their parents than with one another. When the domestically helpless husband is at home, the wife must be there to provide his meals, do his laundry, prepare his bath, make his bed, and otherwise serve him. The common expression for a wife, which is the counterpart of "a relationship like air . is the expression "a good husband is healthy and absent." lwao (1993) explains that "as long as the husband is absent and in good health, the wife can dispense with the household chores. quickly and use the remaining time as she likes" (p.90). Husbands who are devoted to their companies are excluded from the opportunities to develop household skills. Real problems start when husbands reach the age of retirement. Without any special interests beside work, men can become nothing but useless sodai gomi (oversized trash), or worse, nure ochiba (wet fallen leaves) which are very hard to get rid of (lwao, 1993). At this stage of life, wives have established firm relationships 11

PAGE 18

with children, siblings, and friends, and many of them are participating actively in community events or hobby groups. They have learned to spend time without their husbands. When retired, overdependent husbands try to join their wives' activities, the wives become resentful and call their husbands kyofu no washi zoku (the take-me-with-you terrors) (lwao, 1993). Communication Style and Conflict Resolution Style in Japanese Marriages Cultural traditions and social norms strongly influence communication styles and conflict resolution styles in every relationship of human beings. Kondo (1981) points out that in a society where vertical relationships among human beings are fundamental, horizontal relationships are secondary. Such a society will not have cultivated an environment and interpersonal techniques for developing horizontal human relationships. lwao (1993) illustrates a communication style between husbands and wives of the older generation through a reader's letter published in the newspaper: ... If I say to my husband, just for the sake of conversation, "Sure is cold today, isn't it?" he is sure to snap back that "It's winter; it ought to be cold." If I say, "I would like to go on a trip with my friend, so-and-so," his response will be an indifferent, "Do as you please." I have long since given up expecting thoughtful or gentle replies from him. Whenever I feel like vocalizing my thoughts, I sing a song or talk to the flowers or the sky. I am told that personalities never change. It is hopeless to try to appeal to your husband ... (Housewife, aged 59) (p.95.). Sato (1992) states that because of clearly separated gender roles 12

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and vertically structured family relationships, husbands and wives have little direct contact with each other in their daily lives. Social norms ruled that once a man and a woman married, they should avoid conflict by suppressing selfishness, acting humble, and being thoughtful. Kondo (1981) notes that in the older generation, couples believe that "true love is quiet love," and to prove their love, they should work hard at their own roles. In particular, husbands believe that to love their wives means to be faithful to them, to earn enough money for their family, and to work diligently. Japanese husbands do not view intimacy in their marriage as involving conversations with their wives. With this social norm, it is not surprising that older couples do not have arguments at all during their married life (Okadou, 1991). Another letter from a reader to the newspaper illustrates this point: On weekends, my husband and I drive to a sports club, two hours going and coming. I gaze out at the beautiful blue ocean and the scenery we pass with delight, exclaiming how splendid it is--to myself. I have learned not to try to engage my husband in conversation over such things as I am sure only to receive a thorny response. After some twenty years of marriage, we happened to join the same sports club and so we started driving together. Now I feel even more isolated from him than before joining the club because of these hours I have to spend with him without being able to communicate what I am thinking (Housewife, aged 52) (lwao, p.95). Inhibiting the expression of personal emotion is a Japanese cultural value; people expect others to understand their emotions without saying a word (Kondo, 1981). This national characteristic has produced and shaped 13

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Japanese communication styles which are described as ishin denshin (silent communication in which people believe that a person's real intentions are communicated to others without words), and amae (the feeling of nurturing concern for and dependence on another) (Doi, 1993). In the intimate relationship of a husband and wife, this tendency is multiplied: "You know even if I don't say it." Nitta (1975) and Satake (1995) claim that the dissonance between the old social norms and the new constitutional idea that husbands and wives possess equal rights causes conflict in marital relationships. Husbands tend to stay traditional and have difficulties in adjusting themselves to both social changes and spousal expectations. There is evidence that these communication patterns persist in younger Japanese couples. A letter from a younger reader describes a similar situation: ... When my husband and I were dating, he would say he was glad when he was glad; he would talk to me. I wish my husband would look at me now when he talks to me, instead of averting his gaze, and not call me with the domineering "Oi [Hey]!" After I go and look after his mother, he could give me maybe one word of thanks? I am tired of guessing from his expression that he is grateful. And why does he act so grumpy when we are alone? He demands, "Tea!" and I reply, "I'll bring it in a minute." But then he insists, "Why don't you have it ready the minute I sit down?" Then, if I do serve him immediately, he doesn't say a word in thanks. I just wish he would say once, "I love you." I never heard him say that, not even once. I want to hear him say so before I die ... (Housewife, aged 37) (lwao, 1993, p.96). In these letters, lwao found that "the wives show their frustration in 14

PAGE 21

their relationships, but it also shows that they are st!ll unwilling to take an aggressive approach (such as obtaining a divorce) to solving the problems from which their dissatisfaction stems" (p.96). She points out that the nonconfrontational tendency in Japanese human relations results from the long-term perspective people take towards gain and loss, happiness and unhappiness, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and is constrained by a consideration of others and the surrounding situation. Compared to American's romantic marriages where affection and emotion are involved, Japanese marriages are practical. Matuura (1986) notes that Japanese married couples maintain their marriage without developing intimacy, which is supposed to be established at the early stage of their marriage. Instead, they maintain their marriages with other factors such as socioeconomic, children and ie structure. This is supported by Kame's (1993) research that found a Japanese wife's marital satisfaction related directly to her husband's income. In the poorly cultivated husband and wife relationships in the Japanese family, communication does not flow as it does in most American families. An episode was introduced in the book Communicaton (1989), in which a foreign exchange student stayed with a Japanese family. The student who was expected to improve her Japanese conversation ability soon realized that the husband and wife did not often converse, and that the grandfather and the grandmother watched television throughout the day. 15

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The father was seldom home, and whenever present used only words such as "Meshi," "Furo," "Nen.J' (Meal, take a bath, go to sleep). Thus, communication and conflict resolution in Japanese marriages are practicing in a different manner that in American marriages. Studies on Marital Satisfaction in Japanese Married Couples Studies on Japanese marital satisfaction have been conducted by several scholars (Kama, 1993; Nagatsu, 1987; Ozawa, 1987; Sodei & Tuzuki, 1985; Takahashi, 1991 ). The study by Sodei and Tuzuki used a measurement which was developed by American scholars, Stinnett's Marital Need Satisfaction Scale (Stinnett et al.,1970), and modified it to better match Japanese marital practices. The Marital Need Satisfaction Scale (MNSS) was developed to measure elderly couples' marital satisfaction from the emotional and mental point of view and included 24 questionnaire items. The items were divided into six categories: love, personality fulfillment, respect, communication, finding meaning in life, and integration of past life experiences. Sodei and Tusuki adopted 11 questions from these items which were applicable to the Japanese, and added two more questions to supplement the measurement: 1) "I am satisfied with my partner in general," and 2) "I would like to marry the same partner in my next life." The subjects answer as follows: Yes=2, Don't' know=1, and No=O. The total score was 26 points from 13 questions. This scale became a standard of studying marital 16

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satisfaction in Japanese couples. Sodei and Tuzuki's study was conducted to find out what factors in married life cause marital satisfaction in Japanese retired couples. They did the survey twice: first, in 1979 with 832 couples whose husbands were retired, and second, in 1983 with 325 couples who were chosen from the first survey subjects. The final number of subjects was 278 couples. Sodei and Tusuki found that the average score of marital satisfaction in both husbands and wives was very high. In 1979, 64.7 percent of husbands and 47.8 percent of wives scored more than 24 points out of 26 points, and the average scores were 22.3 for husbands and 21.4 for wives. In 1983, 60.1 percent of husbands and 54.7 percent of wives scored more than 24 points, and the average scores were 22.0 for husbands and 21.7 for wives. In both cases, the husbands' marital satisfaction score was higher than the wives'. Sodei and Tusuki noted that this tendency could be found in a similar study of American marriages. The husbands' and wives' scores were correlational: when a husband's marital satisfaction score was high, his wife's score was also high; when his score was low, his wife's score was also low. In the six MNSS categories, a communication item "Trying to find satisfactory solutions to our disagreements," was scored the lowest by both husbands and wives. Sodei and Tusuki suspected that the traditional communication style of husbands and wives, "You know even though I don't 17

PAGE 24

say the words" attitude was responsible for a failure to develop good communicative skills and abilities. They compared their two surveys (1979 and 1983) to investigate which factors related to change.of lifestyle contributed to the couples' marital satisfaction. The data indicated that an increase of conversation time significantly contributed to a rise in the score for marital satisfaction. Since this study focused on retired, elderly couples, the results may not be equivalent for younger couples. Retired couples' marital satisfaction could be more straightforwardly affected by their mental relationships than other factors such as socioeconomic status, age, sex, and relationships with other family members and friends. Their high average score on marital satisfaction could be a result of the fact that the couples had been in a marriage for a long time and agreed to be subjects together. Perhaps only the happily married volunteered to participate in the study in the first place, which would explain the high scores on marital satisfaction. Takahashi (1991) also studied elderly couples' marital satisfaction by using six items from Sodei and Tuzuki's modified MNSS. He added 27 more questions to the scale to investigate the connection between marital satisfaction and perceptions of societal and familial events. Some of his questions included the following: "Do you think that couples should discuss everything and anything with each other?"; "Do you think it is necessary to give instruction to your grown-up children?"; and "Do you think it is 18

PAGE 25

necessary for a childless couple to adopt a child?" His study was designed to discover levels of marital satisfaction not only in relationships between spouses, but also in relationships with their children and extended family members in the ie structure. The subjects for his survey were 149 couples in which at least one member of the couple was over 65 years old. All of the couples were living by themselves, away from their family members. The data showed that the average score of marital satisfaction for both husbands and wives was very high. Seventy one percent of husbands and 53.7 percent of wives marked the highest score possible, 6 points. The average score for husbands was 5.56, and for wives was 5.02. Husband and wife marital satisfaction was also positively correlated. These results confirmed Sodei and Tuzuki's findings: the husbands' marital satisfaction score was higher than the wives', and the husbands' and wives' scores were correlational. Since Takahashi studied elderly couples' marital satisfaction in relation to their awareness of relationships with spouse, children, and ie structure, the results did not clearly establish the connection between marital satisfaction and marital practices. Ozawa (1987) studied marital satisfaction in younger, dual-income couples, and how the working patterns of wives reflected the couples' marital satisfaction. She also used the modified MNSS as her measurement. The subjects were 752 couples between the ages of 23 to 48 19

PAGE 26

for wives and 23 to 58 for husbands. They all had at least one child aged four to five-years-old who attended a day-care center or kindergarten while the couples were working. The study confirmed the results of Sodei and Tusuki's research; husbands' marital satisfaction scored higher than wives', and couples' scores were correlational. Also the item about conflict resolution style, "Trying to find satisfactory solutions to our disagreements," scored the lowest in the questionnaire. The subjects answered to the item with the points of Yes=2, Don't know=1, and No=O, and the average score was 1.2. This average score suggested that many Japanese couples manage conflicts poorly. The husbands' positive involvement in child rearing and domestic chores and the duration of conversations between spouses were positively related to the couples' marital satisfaction. Thus the interaction between husbands and wives greatly contributed to their marital satisfaction. The data did not show any connection between wives' working patterns and marital satisfaction. Since Ozawa used the MNSS, which was initially designed to measure elderly couples' marital satisfaction, there might have been some discrepancy in the responses for the younger married couples, such as in the item "I would like to marry the same partner in the next life.n Younger couples may have not lived together long enough to be able to speculate on such a possibility. Nagatsu (1987) also searched for predictors of marital happiness 20

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among married people in their 20s and 30s. Her subjects were 262 males and 291 females, for a total of 553 married individuals between the ages of 20 to 39. Individuals were not married to one another. Marital happiness scores ranged over nine levels (1 =extremely unhappy, to 9=extremely happy) and 23 variables were listed as predictors, such as education, income, domestic roles, sex, spending time at home, and so on. The study found that differences between expectations and realities in the relationships between spouses, household income, and the time duration for interaction with one's spouse all played important roles in determining marital happiness. Nagatsu pointed out when both individuals in a marriage played the role of providers, the husbands' marital happiness score was high, whereas the wives' was low. She concluded that low level of marital happiness in working wives resulted from (a) a feeling that their ideal happiness was at a higher level; (b) a feeling of unfairness regarding their husbands respect for their dual roles as providers and care-takers; and (c) their need to work regardless of their feelings because of their husbands' insufficient income. A study by Kama (1993), published in English, examined the similarities and differences between American and Japanese married couples. The U.S. findings concluded that satisfaction in marriage was determined by each spouse's resources and rewards from marital interactions. Kamo used Linear Structural Relationships to examine three 21

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factors: resources/demographics; perceived fairness in, or benefit from, the relationship; and companionship. The variables included income, education, age, the number of dinners the spouses had together per week, and common experiences regarding friends. Respondents' perceptions of fairness in, or benefit from, the relationships was measured by the question, "Considering the chores done in your household, do you feel your partner does his or her fair share?" The scores ranged from 1 (much less than his or her fair share) to 9 (much more than his or her fair share). Marital satisfaction was measured by one question, "How satisfied are you with your marital relationship in general?" with the score ranging from 1 (not satisfied at all) to 9 (extremely satisfied). The Japanese subjects, 424 husbands and 475 wives, were selected from the Tokyo metropolitan area. They all had at least one child aged six to fifteen years old. The data showed that for the Japanese "sharing friends and going out with common friends," and "the frequency of spouses having dinner together" were positively related to their marital satisfaction. In other words, interaction between husbands and wives was one of the important determinants of Japanese marital satisfaction. However, the husbands' relative share of the household work was negatively related to their satisfaction with marriage. The more household work the husbands performed, the less satisfied they were with their marriages. This negative relation between household work and marital satisfaction applied only to 22

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Japanese husbands. This phenomenon typically reflects traditional Japanese gender roles and husbands' perceptions toward wives as caretakers. Both husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction were directly related to husbands' income. Kamo noted that when marriage is empty in terms of its emotional needs, Japanese spouses could be satisfied with it as long as it provides economic security'' (p. 565). Kamo's study expresses insight and a deep understanding of Japanese marriages with his subjects representing the diverse population of Tokyo, Japan's largest city. It is doubtful, however, that a single question measuring the level of marital satisfaction adequately represented the subjects' feelings toward their marriages. Kamo examined marital satisfaction only from the aspect of each spouse's rewards from marital interactions, but not from the aspect of communication, especially how conflict was managed between spouses. Since conflict management plays an important role in marital interaction (Kurdek, 1995), it should be thoroughly investigated. --Onode and Motomura (1986) studied spousal marital satisfaction vis a vis how a marital relationship affected children's personalities. The subjects were 512 tenth to twelfth graders in a big city. Onode and Motomura investigated how the subjects perceived their parents' marital satisfaction by using Roach's Marital Satisfaction Scale (RMSS) (Roach et al., 1981 ). RMSS contained questions such as, "Do you think your mother 23

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and father are satisfied with the marriage?"; "Do you think your parents get along well?"; and "Do you think your parents find their marriage successful?" In the process of their study, Onode and Motomura found that the children perceived their fathers' marital satisfaction as higher than the mothers'. They explained this tendency as the result of male-dominated Japanese society with ie centered cultural values where the completion of domestic chores depended heavily on mothers. One problem with this survey is the limited time the children spend with their fathers. In the typical Japanese household, the father shares much less time with his children than the mother does. In light of this, the children's observations and perceptions might be one-sided, and possibly influenced by their mothers' dominance in the household. In 1995, a lab in the private sector, Ufestyle Study Laboratory in Osaka, conducted an intensive survey of communication practices between husbands and wives in their daily lives. The subjects of the survey were 469 couples in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. The questionnaire contained 32 items in 11 questions for wives and 18 items in 8 questions for husbands. The questions included topics such as conversational practices between spouses, the expression of affection between spouses, frequency of going out with one's spouse, how much husbands or wives know about their partners, how spouses address each other (i.e., what words are actually used, or even if they are addressed at all), interaction with partner's friends, 24

PAGE 31

and level of satisfaction with communication practices. Some of the questions included were, "How long did you spend with your husband in the same room yesterday (sleeping time excluded)?"; "How does your husband address you at home?"; "Do you think it is necessary to express your affection toward your wife?"; and "Do you want to know more about your wife?" The data revealed that only 40 percent of the couples greeted each other every morning; the working wives spent more time engaging in conversation with their spouses than the wives who stayed home; half of the couples were somewhat satisfied with their communication practices, and only six percent of them were very satisfied. Half of the couples never considered communication as a key factor in establishing good spousal relationships. They were simply not interested in engaging in conversation with their spouses. The survey also found that the more couples were engaged in conversation, the more they were satisfied with their relationships. Mutual interaction such as going out together and exchanging presents on special occasions also played positive roles in their marriages. Younger couples enjoyed their conversation with their spouses more than older couples, and couples in their 40s and 50s showed less interest in engaging in conversation with each other. Thirty percent of couples in their 40s claimed that they had days when they had no conversation at all. A part of the results of the survey conducted by Lifestyle Study 25

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Laboratory is rooted in Japanese culture where ki kubari (a social norm in which being watchful and doing things before being asked are stressed) has long been valued in human relationships. As a result of ki kubari, the concept of "communication" has not developed in the same way as in western countries. Ki kubari conveys beyond Western concept of non-verbal communication and it is more intuitive knowledge rather than knowledge from learning. There are no exactly equivalent words for communication in the Japanese therefore, the English word "communication" had been adopted, as is, into Japanese. As presented in this section, the study of Japanese marital satisfaction has been conducted by several Japanese scholars, and problems in Japanese marriages have been addressed in general. Two out of seven studies investigated elderly people, four of them surveyed younger to middle-aged couples, and one of them studied younger couples in their 20s and 30s. There are three major conclusions that may be drawn from the seven studies conducted on marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages. First, marital satisfaction is higher among husbands than wives. The studies of Sodei and Tuzuki, Takahashi, Ozawa, and Onode and Motomura confirmed this conclusion. The reason for this finding could be interpreted by Japanese gender roles in which wives are expected to be care-takers in a male-dominated society. Or it might suggest that wives are more likely than 26

PAGE 33

husbands to confront disagreement in their marriage (Gottman, 1994). Or perhaps women took the survey more serious than the men, who responded without serious reflection. Secondly, increased time in conversation and increased interaction between spouses are positively related to marital satisfaction. The more couples are engaged in conversation, and the more time they spend together, the happier they are in their relationships (Kamo, Ufestyle Study Laboratory, Ozawa, Sodei & Tuzuki). Third, many Japanese couples pay no attention to their communication practices with their spouses (Ufestyle Study Laboratory, Ozawa, Sodei & Tuzuki). This finding might reflect the Japanese cultural value which does not recognize communication as being an important part of marriages. Five out of the seven studies investigated the predictors or determinants of Japanese marital satisfaction. In these studies it was found that even though traditional Japanese culture valued ki kubari communication style, conversation and interactions between spouses actually contributed significantly to their marital satisfaction. However, the connection of Japanese marital satisfaction and communication to conflict resolution styles has not been studied intensively. This is perhaps because the concept of overt spousal communication is relatively new among the Japanese, and conflict management styles are not normally discussed. For most Japanese the word uconflict'' give them negative connotations from their social value harmony, and they do not show their disagreement in an 27

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obvious way. Therefore, they have been reluctant to confront any conflicts even between spouses (Satake, 1995). It is reasonable, however, to believe that this link exists because if both conversation and spousal interaction are connected to marital satisfaction, the conflict management style should also be connected to their marital satisfaction. The present study of the relationships of Japanese husbands and wives, and the connection between Japanese couples' marital satisfaction and their conflict resolution styles, could reveal new predictors or determinants of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages. Research Questions and Hypotheses Based on the reviewed literature, the following research questions are addressed: (1) What is the level of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? (2) Are there significant differences between husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? (3) What conflict resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese marriages? (4) In what ways are conflict resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? Once again, based on the review of the literature, the following hypotheses will be investigated in this thesis. Hypothesis 1. Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in wives will be the most frequently used conflict resolution styles in 28

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Hypothesis 2. Hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 4. Japanese marriages. Couples in which both individuals withdraw from conflict will have less marital satisfaction than. couples in which both individuals engage in positive problem solving. Individuals who perceive their partners withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who perceive their partners engage in positive problem solving. Positive problem solving conflict style will be related to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement, withdrawal, and compliance. In the next chapter, specific research methods such as how the investigator collected the necessary data for the study will be discussed. 29

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CHAPTER2 RESEARCH METHODS Introduction To collect data for the present study on relationships between Japanese husbands and wives, a self-administered questionnaire survey method was adopted. Instead of mailing the questionnaires directly to the respondents, the investigator selected core persons who delivered questionnaires and explained the study to the respondents. Questionnaires were left for the respondents to complete, and retrieved later in person or by mail. The ways in which the questionnaires were delivered and retrieved were left to the discretion of core persons. The sensitive nature of the survey questions led to the adoption of a self-administered questionnaire. Marital satisfaction and conflict management are quite personal matters, and most Japanese do not discuss openly either their marital life or interaction with their spouses (Satake, 1995). Utilizing this method, the respondents' privacy was relatively protected. The second reason for adopting this method was that the study required a reasonable number of participants to collect a significant amount of data. The use of core persons contributed to achieving a higher return rate (85%) for the questionnaires. To obtain well-represented samples for the 30

PAGE 37

study, it was essential to enlist core persons who actually lived in selected locations in Japan. Subjects The final sample consisted of 1 04 husbands and 1 04 wives who had been married for more than five years, and ranged in age from 28 to 55. Among the husbands,1.0% were in their 20s, 26.9% in their 30s, 52.9% in their 40s, and 19.2% in their 50s. Among the wives, 1.9% were in their 20s, 45.2% in their 30s, 45.2% in their 40s, and 7.7% in their 50s. The average age for husbands was 43 and for wives 41. The duration of the marriages ranged from five years to 31 years with a mean of 15.9 years. Couples who were married by a match maker (a coordinator who knows both individuals as candidates for marriage and arranges the first formal date) accounted for 11.5%, and those who married after "falling in love" accounted for 81. 7%. "Others" accounted for 6. 7% including marriages determined by the parents when both individuals were young, marriages in which families adopt a male as a husband for their daughter in order to keep the family name, and marriages which do not belong to any of the preceding groups. Ninety-two percent of the couples had children. Forty-one percent of husbands and 15% of wives were college graduates. Of the husbands, 42% earned more than nine million yen, 51% earned between 8,999,999 yen and 31

PAGE 38

five million yen, and 7% earned less than five million yen. The average income for a Japanese household in 1995 was 6,596,000 yen which was equivalent to US$52,000 as of April30; 1997. Of wives, 42% were unemployed. Procedures Participants were chosen from five cities in Japan (Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagano, Yamagata, and Hanno) in April 1997. Tokyo and Yokohama are big, cosmopolitan cities, while Nagano. and Yamagata are middle-sized, conventional cities. Hanno is a small older city which is becoming a suburb of Tokyo. The snowball sampling technique, a method which begins with a few relevant respondents, and then expands through referrals (Babbie, 1995), was adopted for the survey. The investigator solicited participants through five men and five women, all personal acquaintances (core persons), who then solicited study participants through their personal networks. The number of participants with whom one core person dealt with varied from five couples to 30 couples. This distribution resulted in 53 couples in the big cities, 55 couples in the middle-size cities, and 25 couples in the small city. Qualified study participants must have been born after 1940, have been educated in schools in the post World War II era, and have been married for more than five years. Since the Japanese educational system 32

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and school curriculum changed dramatically after the war, it was crucial for this study to have participants who were educated in this new system rather than the old system. The couples also should have past their honeymoon phase to evaluate their marriages. The newly wed couples tend to put themselves into socially preferred married couples rather than developing their own style of relationships. The couples whose marriages last for more than five years are more stable; therefor, they can comprehend their relationships better. Each couple was given two identical surveys that included a statement of instruction, a statement of informed consent, a measure of demographic variables, a measure of marital satisfaction, and a measure of conflict resolution styles. The couples were directed to complete their surveys separately and privately, and to refrain from discussing their answers with each other. The completed forms were put into the same envelope, and the envelope was sealed and either returned to the core persons or directly returned to the investigator. The core persons collected the forms from their participants and mailed or handed them to the investigator. One hundred and twelve couples and two individuals out of 133 couples returned the forms, and eight unqualified couples and two individuals were eliminated. As a result, 104 couples (20S individuals) comprised the final sample. 33

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Measures To capture the relationship between marital satisfaction and conflict resolution style, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (Schumm et al., 1986) and the Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating & Partner-Rating) (Kurdek, 1994) were adopted. The Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMS) consists of three likert-type questions: "How satisfied are you with your marriage?" "How satisfied are you with your husband/wife as a spouse?" "How satisfied are you with your relationship with your husband/wife?" This scale requires subjects to rate satisfaction (1 =extremely dissatisfied to 7= extremely satisfied). The total score ranges from three (extremely dissatisfied) to 21 (extremely satisfied) for individual respondents, and the total score accounts for the subjects' overall (final) marital satisfaction score. The KMS was developed by Schumm et al. (1986) of Kansas State University, and it has been tested against two reliable and valid measures of marital adjustment, Spanier's Dyadic Adjustment Scale (1976) and Norton's Quality Marriage Index (1983). The KMS was found to correlate substantially with both measures, which contain more question items than the KMS scale (Schumm, 1986). The Conflict Resolution Styles Inventory (CRSI) consists of two parts: self-rating and partner-rating. The two parts contain 16 identical questions, which are allocated to four types of conflict resolution styles: conflict engagement (e.g., launching personal attacks), positive problem solving 34

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(e.g., focusing on the problems at hand), withdrawal (e.g., tuning the other person out), and compliance (e.g., not being willing to stick up for myself). The subjects rate how frequently (1=never and 5=always) the individual and his or her partner use each of the styles to deal with arguments or disagreements. A total score for one type of conflict resolution style ranges from four (never use the style) to 20 (always use the style). Since information regarding each subject is available from two sources (self-rating and partner-rating), the subject's final conflict resolution style score is measured by adding the two rating scores. The reason of using the two added rating scores is to minimize social desirability by the respondents. The respondents may want to make themselves look better, therefore they might choose answers which they actually do not practice. By adding the partner's rating score, the individuals' conflict resolution style scores become more complete. The combined final total score ranges from eight -to 40. The individuals' conflict resolution styles are determined by the highest total score among the four conflict resolution styles. Both the KMS and the CRSI are published in English. In order to conduct the survey with Japanese couples, the questionnaires had to be translated into Japanese. The investigator provided a thorough translation and consulted with two professional translators on the questionnaires. A pilot survey was conducted with three Japanese couples to find out if the questions were easily understood by Japanese. Based upon the results of 35

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the pilot study, minor changes were made in the CRSI questions, such as "not being willing to stick up for myself," was modified into a more appropriate Japanese expression, rather than a direct translation. In addition to KMS and CRSI, participants provided demographic information regarding sex, age, number of children, length of marriage, how they married (through a match-maker, falling in love, or "other"), educational level (represented by four intervals ranging from less than 12 years to more than 16 years), and annual personal income (represented by seven intervals ranging from none to ,000,000 or more, which is equivalent to US$71,000 or more). Data Analysis Data were analyzed to answer the following four research questions (RQ). RQ1: What is the level of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? RQ2: Are there significant differences between husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction? RQ3: What conflict resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese marriages? RQ4: In what ways are conflict resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages? To answer RQ1 regarding marital satisfaction level, marital 36

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satisfaction (MS) scores were run individually for 208 subjects and an average score obtained. MS scores were calculated by adding each point of the three MS questions: how satisfied is the individual with the marriage, spouse, and relationship with the spouse. A total score could range from three (extremely unsatisfied) to 21 (extremely satisfied). For RQ2 regarding gender differences in marital satisfaction, MS scores were assessed separately for husbands and for wives. The three MS questions' scores were calculated individually to see how each question was responded to differently, and then added together to obtain total scores for the comparison of husbands' and wives' MS. Attest was conducted to find the differences in the two groups. For RQ3 regarding the most commonly used conflict resolution styles, individual conflict resolution styles (CRSs) were identified. The Conflict Resolution Inventory (CRI) contains two parts, self-rating and partner-rating: therefore, the individuals' self-rating score and the spouse's partner-rating score were added together to determine individual conflict resolution styles for conflict engagement, positive problem solving, withdrawal, and compliance. The highest score among the four CRSs was the subject's conflict resolution style. In cases where subjects obtained less than two points difference between four CRSs, the average scores of individual CRS were used as yardsticks. For example, if a subject scored 24 in withdrawal and 23 in compliance, mean withdrawal score and mean compliance score 37

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from all subjects combined were used to determine which score was more appropriate for the subject's CAS. For RQ4 regarding ways in which conflict resolution styles are related to marital satisfaction, individual correlations were conducted to determine relationships between the four CRSs and their MS scores. Data were also analyzed to test the following four hypotheses (H). H1: Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in wives will be the most frequently used conflict resolution style in Japanese marriages. H2: Couples in which both individuals withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than couples in which both individuals engage in positive problem solving. H3: Individuals who perceive their partners withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who perceive their partners engage in positive problem solving. H4: Positive problem solving conflict style will be related to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement, withdrawal, and compliance. H1 was investigated from the results of AQ3 and by computing a frequency distribution to see how many husbands employed a withdrawal style and how many wives employed a compliance style. H2 was investigated by the results of RQ3 and by identifying the couples who both employed a withdrawal conflict resolution style, and a 38

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positive problem solving style. A t test was conducted to see if there were differences between both groups in the way they responded to the marital satisfaction scale. H3 was investigated by identifying the individuals' perceptions toward their partners' CRSs. The individuals' perceptions were measured by the partner-rating scores. Attest was conducted on the MS score between individuals who perceived their partners "withdraw" and those who perceived their partners employ "positive problem solving." H4 was investigated by conducting ANOVA with MS scores and the fourCRSs. In the next chapter, the actual results from the analysis of collected data will be discussed. 39

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CHAPTER3 THE RESULTS Results of this study indicate that Japanese couples are moderately satisfied with husbands more satisfied than wives. Positive problem solving style is the most common conflict management style employed and yields the highest degree of marital satisfaction compared to the other three styles. Before presenting the results, information concerning calculation of marital satisfaction scores and conflict resolution style scores should be given. To analyze collected data, SPSS Base system was used. The qualified participants' data were numbered from one to 208 and paired into 1 04 couples, odd numbers for husbands and even numbers for wives. The final data base contained five variables: marital satisfaction scores for individuals, marital satisfaction scores for couples, conflict resolution style for self, conflict resolution style for partner, and conflict resolution style for perception of partner. Since all answers were numerically indicated, each number was directly transferred to the variables. The first research question stated, uWhat is the level of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?" The average score of 208 subjects' marital satisfaction (MS) was 16.3 points on a 21 point scale, which was slightly higher than the moderate level (12-16 points). The MS score 40

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resulted in 8.2% of the subjects scoring 21 full points (extremely satisfied), 34.3% scoring higher than 18 points (very satisfied), 79.2% scoring higher than 15 points (somehow satisfied), 20.8% scoring between 14 and 10 points (don't know), 3.4% scoring lower than g points (somehow unsatisfied), 1.5% scoring lower than 6 points (very unsatisfied), and 0.5% scoring 3 points (extremely unsatisfied). Table 3.1 Marital Satisfaction Scores between Husbands and Wives .N Mean SDs df 1 Sig. Total marital husbands 104 16.7404 3.06 206 2.31 .011 satisfaction wives 104 15.7404 3.17 How satisfied husbands 104 5.6058 1.06 206 2.16 .016 in marriage wives 104 5.2885 1.08 How satisfied husbands 103 5.6117 1.03 205 2.26 .013 with the spouse wives 104 5.2692 1.14 How satisfied husbands 104 5.5385 1.05 206 2.49 .007 in relationship wives 104 5.1346 1.28 The second research question stated, "Are there significant differences between husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?" Table 3.1 above shows the result of ttest for MS scores between husbands and wives. Husbands' MS scores were higher than the wives' in all aspects. Regarding three MS questions, husbands' average scores were 5.60 in the marriage, 5.61 in spouse, and 5.54 in the relationship on a 7 point scale. Wives' scores were 5.29 in the marriage, 41

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5.27 in spouse, and 5.13 in the relationship. Husbands' average MS score in total was 16.74 points and the wives' was 15.74 points. One point difference between husbands' and wives' scores showed statistically significant on a 21 point scale, however not significant practically between somehow satisfied (15) and very satisfied (18). The third research question stated, "What conflict resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese marriages?" The results showed positive problem resolution style was the most used style, followed by withdrawal, conflict engagement, and compliance. Forty three percent of all participants employed positive problem solving, 26% employed withdrawal, 16% employed conflict engagement, and 14% employed compliance (1% missing). Husbands' conflict resolution styles were 46% in positive problem solving, 30% in withdrawal, 13% in conflict engagement, and 11% in compliance. Wives' conflict resolution styles were 41% in positive problem solving, 22% in withdrawal, 20% in conflict engagement, and 17% in compliance. Husbands' conflict resolution styles were clearly divided into two groups, positive problem solving and withdrawal, whereas wives' styles were distributed over all four styles. Wives used more conflict engagement style and compliance style than husbands. The fourth research question stated, "In what way are conflict resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?" The group which employed a positive problem resolution style had a mean 42

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score of 17.0 on the MS scale. The group which employed conflict engagement scored 15 .9, the compliance group 15 .9, the withdrawal group 15.4, respectively. When their spouses employed a positive problem solving style, the subjects' MS score was 17.4 points, compliance 16.3, conflict engagement 15.8, and withdrawal 14.6 respectively. Hypothesis 1 stated, "Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in wives will be the most frequently used conflict resolution style in Japanese marriages." Hypothesis 1 did not receive support. Positive problem solving style was the most commonly used in both husbands and wives. Forty seven percent of the husbands (n=48), and 41% of the wives (n=42) employed a positive problem solving style. Withdrawal in husbands was the second most common style with 30%, followed by conflict engagement 12% and compliance 11 %. Compliance in wives was the least used style with 17%. Withdrawal was 21% and conflict engagement was 20% for the wives. Hypothesis 2 stated, "Couples in which both individuals withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than couples in which both individuals engage in positive problem solving." Hypothesis 2 received strong support. In 29 of the 104 couples (27.9%) both subjects employed a positive problem solving style. Those 29 couples had an average MS score of 34.8, out of a possible 42 In 11 of the couples (1 0.6%) both subjects employed a withdrawal style and their average MS score was 28.2. Since the average MS score of all 1 04 couples was 32.5 points, the difference of 43

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6.6 points between these two groups were both statistically and practically significant. When adding couple's marital satisfaction scores together, 6 -11 indicates extremely unhappy, 1217 indicates very unhappy, 18-23 indicates somewhat unhappy, 2429 indicate they don't know, 3035 indicates somehow happy, 36 -41 indicates very happy, and 42 extremely happy. The MS score 34.8 was close to "very happy," and 28.2 was lower than "somehow happy." Table 3.2 shows the result of ttest for the couples' MS scores between positive problem solving style and withdrawal style. Table 3.2 The Couples' Marital Satisfaction Scores between Positive Problems Solving Style and Withdrawal Style Couple's Conflict Resolution Style Positive problem solving Withdrawal 29 34.76 11 28.18 3.97 4.45 38 4.53 .00 Hypothesis 3 stated, "Individuals who perceive that their partners withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who perceive that their partners engage in positive problem solving." Hypothesis 3 received partial support. Forty one percent of participants believed that their partners engaged in positive problem solving and their average MS score was 17.5. Whereas 23% of the subjects perceived their partners withdraw from conflict, and their average MS score was .5. The difference 44

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between the two styles was 2 points. This difference was significant statistically on a 21 point scale. However, practically both scores fell in a same category between somewhat satisfied and very satisfied. When subjects perceived their partners employing conflict engagement, MS score was 15.9, and compliance was 15.9 respectively. Table 3.3 Comparison of Marital Satisfaction Scores between Three Ratings and Four Conflict Resolution Styles Conflict Positive Ratings Engagement Problem Solving Withdrawal Self 15.9 17.0 15.4 Partner 15.8 17.4 14.6 Perceived 15.9 17.5 15.5 partner Compliance 15.9 16.3 15.9 Hypothesis 4 stated, "Positive problem solving conflict style will be related to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement, withdrawal, and compliance." Hypothesis 4 received support. As shown in Table 3.3 above, the positive problem solving style obtained the highest marital satisfaction score for self, partner, and perception of partner. These scores were 17.0 points for self, 17.4 for partner, and 17.5 for perception of partner_ The withdrawal style obtained the lowest marital satisfaction in all of three aspects; 15.4 for self, 14.6 for partner, and 15.5 for perception of partner. Conflict engagement style obtained 15.9, 15.8, and 15.9 respectively. Compliance style obtained 15.9, 16.3, and 15.9 45

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respectively. When partners employed the positive problem solving style, the other subjects' MS score was on average 2.8 points higher than when the partners employed the withdrawal style. When subjects perceived their partners employing the positive problem solving style, the subjects' MS score was on average 2 points higher than subjects who perceived their partners employing the withdrawal style. Even though all scores except one fell in between somewhat satisfied (15) and very satisfied (18), these scores were both statistically and practically significant. First, the results proved that a positive problem solving style yielded the highest marital satisfaction in four conflict management styles in each case: the subject practiced a positive problem solving style, the subject's spouse practiced a positive problem solving style, and the subject's perceived his or her spouse practicing a positive problem solving style. Second, it also proved that in each case a withdrawal style yielded the lowest marital satisfaction in four styles. Table 3.4 shows the result of ANOVA for the correlation between marital satisfaction and conflict resolution styles. In summary, two of the hypothesis received strong support, one received partial support, and one was unsupported. In general, Japanese married couples are moderately satisfied (RQ1 ), with husbands expressing a little more satisfaction than wives (RQ 2). The positive problem resolution style is the most common conflict management style employed in Japanese 46

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marriage (RQ 3), and yields the highest degree of marital satisfaction compared to other three conflict management styles (RQ 4). In the next chapter these results will be discussed more broadly. Limitations of this investigation will be considered, and extended research suggestions will be proposed. Table 3.4 ANOVA Summary Table Four Conflict Resolution Styles X Marital Satisfaction Sum of Mean Source df Squares Squares E Between Groups 3 89.7616 29.9205 3.083 Within Groups 202 1960.1024 9.7035 Total 205 2049.8641 47 Siq. .028

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CHAPTER4 DISCUSSION Personal relationships between Japanese husbands and wives, and the correlation between their conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction were the focus of this investigation. The study demonstrates that findings of U.S. communication scholars are applicable to Japanese marriages, regardless of significant cultural and communication style differences. In both cultures, marital satisfaction seems determined by a combination of communication styles and patterns of conflict resolution. This chapter is divided into three sections. Section one will restate each individual research question, briefly summarize the results, then interpret those results based upon knowledge of the existing literature. Section two will present and explain the limitations of the current study. The third and final section will explore directions for future research. Discussion of the Results The first research question investigated in this study was, "What is the level of marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?" The majority of Japanese subjects in the survey reported that they were more thansomewhat satisfied with their marriages. The score was higher than expected from the review of Japanese literature. Use of the snowball 48

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survey method, with core persons delivering the survey to couples in their personal network, may have skewed the results. Similarly, only couples with relatively good marriages may have agreed to participate. However, satisfaction ranked lower in the current study than was reported in two previous studies conducted by Japanese scholars (Sodei & Tuzuki, 1985; Takahashi, 1991) in which their sampled couples showed high levels of marital satisfaction. Age differences may have been a factor in the lower level of marital satisfaction over the previous research, as studies by both Sodei and Tuzuki and Takahashi sampled elderly couples who had been married for a longer period of time than the subjects in the current study. They were educated before World War II in the traditional Japanese educational system, and had conducted their marriages within an extended family structure based on conventional social values. Their concepts of marital satisfaction probably differs significantly from those of the younger participants of the present study. The current study confirmed the previous study of Sodei and Tuzuki that marital satisfaction scores are correlated between husbands and wives. For example, when a husband scored high on marital satisfaction so would his wife. When a wife scored low on satisfaction so would her husband. The current study did not confirm the previous study of Kamo that both husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction are directly related to husbands' income, neither did the current study find any correlation between marital 49

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satisfaction and the length of marriage, and marital satisfaction and how couples married (by arrangement, by falling in love, and other). The questionnaire regarding marital satisfaction consisted of three questions: how satisfied was the respondent with his/her marriage; how satisfied was the respondent with his/her spouse, and how satisfied was the respondent with his/her relationship. "Satisfied in marriage" asked overall satisfaction toward his/her marriage which included all factors in marriage such as family relations, financial condition, social status. "Satisfied in relationship" focused on husband/wife relationship only. Among those three questions, wives scored "with marriage" the highest, and husbands scored "with spouse" the highest. Satisfaction "with the relationship" scored the lowest with both husbands and wives. These results are quite understandable in light of the Japanese literature review. Satisfaction with marriage is influenced by multiple factors, not only from their partners, such as couples' family members and .relatives, their social status in the communities, and their financial stability. In the current study, the wives might evaluate these factors the most among three classified marital satisfactions. On the other hand, husbands might evaluate their wives' contribution as their caretakers the most. The lowest score of satisfaction with relationships in both husbands and wives indicated an example of characteristics of Japanese marriages. Probably because of their traditional social norm, Japanese couples take their spouses for 50

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granted and do not pay much attention to each other. Yet, they might expect to receive more intimate attention from their partners in their emotional level. The second research question asked, "Are there significant differences between husbands' and wives' marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?" Even though the statistics in Table 3.1 showed significant differences, practically there were no significant differences reported between husbands and wives in this study. Both husbands and wives were more than somewhat satisfied with their marriages, although reported satisfaction for wives was a little lower than that of husbands. The wives' lower satisfaction confirms previous studies conducted by Japanese scholars (Nagatsu, 1987; Sodei & Tuzuki, 1985; Takahashi, 1991). Lower satisfaction in wives might be caused by their feelings of unfairness in marriage. In the current study, all of the husbands were primary providers in their households, and 58% of wives were employed either as part-timers or permanent employees. Since Japan is a traditional male-dominated society, husbands are usually exempted from most household chores even -when their wives also contribute to the families as co-providers. Wives' dural roles as providers and caretakers might induce the feelings of unfairness in their marriages. The third research question investigated in this thesis asked, "What conflict resolution styles are most commonly used in Japanese marriages?" Surprisingly, positive problem solving was the most common style of conflict 51

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management reported in the sampled marriages. The review of Japanese literature reveals that Japanese couples do not communicate nor interact much with each other, and that they tend to avoid confrontation. Therefore, the investigator expected that Japanese couples, especially husbands, would use a withdrawal style most commonly. Similarly, the expectation was that wives would use a compliance style the most, since they suppress their emotions toward their husbands. Forty-four percent of all subjects in this study were employed a positive problem solving style, and that possibly contributed to higher level of marital satisfaction than expected. The fourth research question investigated in this study was, "In what ways are conflict resolution styles connected to marital satisfaction in Japanese marriages?" When couples employed a positive problem solving style, their marital satisfaction score ranked the highest, and when couples employed a withdrawal style, their score ranked the lowest. When couples confront problems and have disagreements, the conflicts bring them satisfaction if the couples interact with each other in a constructive manner. The same conflicts could bring them dissatisfaction in their marriages when the couples do not confront their disagreements straightforwardly, and avoid interaction with each other. Marital satisfaction depends on how couples manage their conflicts. The connection between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction was clearly demonstrated. The results of this research question suggest that findings of U.S. scholars are also applicable 52

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to Japanese married couples. The first hypothesis states, "Withdrawal in husbands and compliance in wives will be the most used conflict resolution style in Japanese marriages." Unexpectedly, the results indicated that withdrawal ranked as the second most often used resolution style, and compliance as the least used style in both husbands and wives. In this survey, three out of 10 husbands used the withdrawal style, and two out of 1 0 wives used the compliance style. However, styles employed by husbands and wives reveal marked differences. Husbands more frequently than their wives use a positive problem solving style and a withdrawal style. A combination of these two styles characterize 77% of all husbands. Wives use the conflict engagement style and the compliance style more often than do husbands. A combination of these two styles account for 38% of all wives. The gender difference in resolution styles may be caused by daily living environments. All husbands in this study were primary providers in their own household. Their working environments provided ongoing opportunities to expand their range of human interactions, solve problems, and confront daily problems. On the other hand, more than 42% of wives in this study were not employed. Since they stayed at home, wives may have had fewer opportunities to develop problem solving skills, and/or express their feelings effectively. These more restricted environments may influence their frequent use of both conflict 53

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engagement style and compliance style when facing problems with their husbands. The second hypothesis, "Couples in which both individuals withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than couples in which both individuals engage in positive problem solving," was strongly supported. When both individuals managed their conflicts positively, they reported very high satisfaction with their marriages; when both partners withdrew from their conflict, they expressed mutual dissatisfaction. According to the questions on the Conflict Resolution Inventory (Kurdek, 1994) positive problem solving is characterized by such things as discussing differences constructively, focusing on problems at hand, patiently negotiating, showing willingness to compromise, and finding alternative solutions. These positive interactions and constructive communication practices led the couples to a higher level of marital satisfaction. Similarly, withdrawal is characterized by such things as refusal to talk when confronted with conflict, remaining silent for long time, tuning the partners out, acting distant, and showing little interest in their partner. Their low level of marital satisfaction is the result of destructive interaction and negative communication practices. With this result, the existence of a connection between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction has been demonstrated again. The third hypothesis, "Individuals who perceive that their partners withdraw from conflict will have less satisfaction than individuals who 54

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perceive that their partners engage in positive problem solving," was supported. Marital satisfaction actually ranked the highest when individuals perceived that their partners were employing a positive problem solving style. Conversely, marital satisfaction ranked the lowest when partners withdrew from conflict. The findings of U.S. scholars from American couples are consistent with Japanese couples in this study despite their cultural differences. A connection between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction is demonstrated again by the results of the current study. The literature review revealed that Japanese wives repeatedly expressed their sadness and hopelessness toward their husbands (lwao, 1993). They did not engage in conversation because wives anticipated a negative reaction from their husbands. This perception produced a distance from their husbands that helped perpetuate a vicious circle. The fourth hypothesis, "Positive problem solving style will be related to higher marital satisfaction than the other three styles: conflict engagement, withdrawal, and compliance," was strongly supported. Of the four conflict resolution styles, positive problem solving had the strongest positive correlation with marital satisfaction. Interestingly, the individuals who started arguments by launching personal attacks or throwing insults achieved higher satisfaction scores than individuals who avoided the problems by keeping silent and keeping distance from their spouse. The study suggests that both husbands and wives feel better expressing explosive emotions 55

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than suppressing problems. A lack of communication between spouses is at the very center of dissatisfaction with marital relationships. The more couples engage in conversation, the more they express satisfaction with their marriages. By utilizing the conflict resolution styles of positive problem solving, conflict engagement, or compliance, individuals somehow achieve some form of satisfactory interaction. However, individuals who withdraw from conflicts do not conduct any form of interaction. Therefore, they achieve little marital satisfaction. The review of Japanese literature suggests that Japanese married couples do not interact much. Husbands devote their time and energy to their companies and wives design their own social lives apart from their husbands. Unlike American couples who value romance within their marriages, Japanese couples do not evaluate the quality of their marriages by the level of intimacy. Instead, they value practicality, utilizing traditional gender roles where husbands are providers and wives act as caretakers. Women value the social and financial stability of their husbands, including his educational and family background, his place of employment and potential for promotion, and his wage earning power. Men value the social status and creditability that marriage brings, as single men are considered less credible in Japanese society than married men (Kato, 1995). Men also 56

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evaluate wives in terms of how well they can manage household chores. Once married, both partners devote more time and energy toward the development of individual interests than to the development of the couples' mutual interests. Especially, husbands pay little attention to developing their intimate marriage relationship. When the couples start to feel dissonance in their marriages, wives typically nurture alternative relationships with their children and friends; husbands expand relationships with co-workers. Neither gives priority to the marital bond. Why then did the participants in this study express an acceptable level of marital satisfaction? Their positive conflict resolution style is one answer. Another possible answer may be found in practical issues as the literature review revealed. In the current study, 42% of wives were not employed, and 30% fell in the bracket of an annual income of less than one million yen, which is equivalent to $8,000. These numbers indicate that 72% of all wives in this sample were dependent upon their husbands' income. When husbands provide financial stability, wives can enjoy their lives in many ways, regardless of the couples' level of intimacy. Wives handle all the household chores, freeing husbands from their obligations in the home. Satisfaction with their spouses' contribution may have led marital satisfaction scores higher than expected. As Japanese society has changed from the influence of western countries, especially the United States, so too have their marriages. The 57

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rising divorce rate is one indicator of Western influence. Traditionally, Japanese couples have evaluated their marriages with long-term perceptions of loss and gain, happiness and unhappiness, satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Patience has been thought to be one of the virtues of a good wife. These values may well change in the near future. Limitations of the Study There are three limitations of the current study. The first, the married couples were chosen by the snowball method using core persons who distributed questionnaires through their personal networks of relatives, friends and acquaintances. Adopting this method resulted in a high return rate for questionnaires; however, it may have limited the participants to those who had good marriages. The higher level of marital satisfaction than expected in this study might be the result of adopting this survey method. If the couples were uncomfortable with the study, they would not participate. Similarly, if one side of the couple was not willing to become a subject, the couple did not participate. In fact two wives did respond as individuals because their husbands declined. A second limitation of the current study is selecting study participants from a pool of married couples instead of married individuals. Because of their traditional male-dominated social systems and customs, Japanese couples are not accustomed to doing things together. Therefore, they may 58

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have taken participation on the survey together as a formal event. This formality might have unduly influenced their responses. Selecting study participants from married individuals might lead the results differently because of its casualness. The third limitation is adopting American measures of marital satisfaction and conflict resolution inventories for the study of Japanese marriages. Translation of one language to another language always involves risks of losing and/or distorting the original meaning of questions because of language and cultural differences. Also the ways of expressing their feelings may be different between two cultures. As a result, the survey questions could not thoroughly induce the feelings of Japanese respondents in sensitive manner. For instance, many Japanese couples avoid their conflict by not discussing about their problems while they are engaging in conversation. This withdrawal practice was not listed in the questionnaire. Even within the same conflict resolution style such as withdrawal style, their ways of expressing the style might be different between Japanese and Americans. Directions for Future Research Four directions are suggested for further research. The first direction is to have randomly selected larger sample of married couples for studying the correlation between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction in 59

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Japanese marriage. The current study contributed to reveal the existence of the connection in Japanese marriages. By studying a larger random sample from the findings of this study, the connection between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction will become more concrete. The second direction is directly compare Japanese and American marriages by gathering data from the two groups. It could reveal fundamental likeness and differences between the two cultures. It could also reveal if the personal relationships of married couples varies in cultures. The third direction for future research is to study the effect of Japanese cultural communication practices, such as kikubari (a social norm in which being watchful and doing things before being asked are stressed), ishin denshin (you know even if I don't say it), and amae (the feeling of nurturing concern for and dependence on another). Studying these practices could contribute not only to deeper understanding of Japanese marriages, but also to Japanese communication styles in general. The fourth direction is to focus on the relationship of Japanese married couples from the point of intimacy. Since married couples intimacy level is less valued in Japan than in the U.S., the study of intimacy could yield further insights into Japanese marriages. Japanese attitudes toward intimacy may well be the critical factor in understanding the mechanics of marital satisfaction. 60

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APPENDIX A Informed Consent Form I, Harumi Kato, am a graduate student in Communication Department of University of Colorado at Denver. I would like to invite you to participate in a study of the correlation between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction. The primary purpose of this study is to measure Japanese married couples' marital satisfaction by using their conflict resolution styles as a predictor. You will need 15 20 minutes to complete the survey. Because the study deals with your marital satisfaction and how you manage conflict in your marriage, there is possibility that the completion of survey may make you uncomfortable. You may drop out of this study anytime you like. Additionally, I am willing to answer any questions before, during, and after you complete this survey. I hope that completing the survey will give you a great confidence and understandings of your marriage. Any information obtained in connection with this study will remain confidential and your name will not be connected to this research in anyway. The survey you complete will have a number on it, not your name, and will be handled by the number. In addition, no one will see the survey but myself. 61

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If you have any questions about this research or your rights as aresearch subject, please contact me at (303)456-9947 in the U.S. or (045)771-3333 in Japan, and/or you may contact my advisor professor Mike Monsoure of Communication Department of University Colorado at Denver at (303)556-8478, or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, CU Denver Building suite 700, (303)556-2550. Please sign and return a copy of this form, and keep a copy with you. I thank you very much for your participation. Your Signature:------------------Date: _______ 62

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Informed Consent Form in Japanese fll, B\!ff::::JD5 a5&J1Jc5 Cc(., o : :Px 'J .. J (:(.,\5-t30)"C9o s, 1 5 5Ji'J'6 2 o -:15-1' "\::>"Ct.!QI{\t>d.>T(., \teJe(., \""C*fim"C9o \-c:', rcc" '0 (3 0 3) 4 5 6-9 9 4 7 t-:9ifll7:::.tH( o 4 5) 7 7 1 -3 3 3 3 ( 4 F.l2 0 8"" 5 F.l1 8 B) )J Mike Monsour ( 3 0 3) 5 5 6-8 4 7 8 ::105 Office of Academic and Studen Affairs (303) 556-2550
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APPENDIX 8 Instruction to the Core Persons You have __ envelops in the package. Each envelop contains two sets of questionnaires for a couple. Please hand out each envelop to the couples you chose. Qualified couples should; 1) be born after 1941, 2) have been married for more than five years. A set of questionnaires consists of five parts. 1) Informed Consent 2) Demographic Question 3) Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale 4) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating) 5) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Partner-Rating) 1) Informed consent is required by the Human Research Committee at the University of Colorado at Denver. This practice is common in the U.S. 2) Demographic questions are needed for demographic use only. The information obtained here will remain strictly confidential. 3), 4), and 5) are survey questionnaires. When you hand out the envelopes to your subjects, please explain the following to the couples. 1) The questionnaire should be filled out individually. 64

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2) The couple should not discuss the questions and/or their answers with each other. 3) After finishing, put both sets of the questionnaires back into the envelope, seal it and return to you. Or they can return the materials to me directly, if they want to. Please collect all envelopes by May __ and send back to me. Harumi Kato c/o Hiromi Hyodo 3-37-2, Noukendai Kanazawaku, Yokohama 236 Or I will come to collect them at your place on May _. Thank you very much for your assistance on this matter. 65

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Instruction to the Core Persons in Japanese .A 1 g 4 o 5 ott, 4 ore, 3 ore, 2 ore (JYJJT:, 5 o :> 1 ) -1 Y:J b j-: ::::1 :;-e::; r2 ) 3) 4 ) 5) 1) y )I.. I) 2) ""( 3 ) 4 ) 5 ) 0 1) 2) \C. c. ) 3) ft11:51)u, 9 "'-c 5 .1'3 __ s v, c: 2 3 6 noiire 66

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APPENDIXC Cover Letter and Questionnaires There are two sets of questionnaire in the envelop. Please fill out the questionnaire individually. Do not discuss with your partner any questions you are asked. A set of questionnaire consists of five parts. 1) Informed Consent 2) Demographic Questions 3) Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale 4) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating) 5) Conflict Resolution Inventory (Partner-Rating) When you and your partner have finished, please put the questionnaires back into the envelop, seal it, and return to your core person or return to me directly. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at; Harumi Kato 4595 Saulsbury St. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 U.S.A. Phone (303)456-9947 Fax (303)456-9897 e-mail: harumi @ossinc. net 67

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or April 20 May 18 I am in Japan at; c/o Hiromi Hyodo 3-37-2, Noukendai Kanazawaku, Yokohama JAPAN Phone/Fax (045)771-3333 68

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Demographic Questionnaire Your sex: Male or Female (circle one) Your birth year: 19 __ How many children do you have? If any, age(s) of children _______ How long have you been married with your partner? __ years months Was your marriage "arranged" or "tall-in-love"? _Arranged Fall-in-love How many years do/did you go to school? less than 12 years _12 years _13-16 years more than 16 years Others Please check one about your annual income status. none less than ,000,000 ,000,000 2,999,999 ,000,000 4,999,999 ,000,000 6,999,999 ,000,000 8,999,999 more than ,000,000 69

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Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale Instructions: Using the scale below, circle the number that indicates best fits of your feelings. Extremely Very Somewhat Somewhat Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfaied Mixed Satisfied Satisfied 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. How satisfied are you with your marriage? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. How satisfied are you with your husband/wife as a spouse? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Extremely Satisfied 7 3. How satisfied are your with your relationship with your husband/wife? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 70

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The Conflict Resolution Inventory (Self-Rating) Instruction: Using the scale 1=Never and 5=Aiways, rate how frequently you use each of the following styles to deal with arguments or disagreements with your partner. 1. Launching personal attacks. 1 2 3 4 5 2. Focusing on the problem at hand. 1 2 3 4 5 3. Remaining silent for long periods of time. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Not being willing to stick up for myself. 1 2 3 4 5 5. Exploding and getting out of control. 1 2 3 4 5 6. Sitting down and discussing differences constructively. 1 2 3 4 5 7. Reaching a limit, 'shutting down,' and refusing to talk any further. 1 2 3 4 5 71

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8. Being too compliant 1 2 3 4 5 9. Getting carried away and saying things that aren't mean. 1 2 3 4 5 1 0. Finding alternatives that are acceptable to each of us. 1 2 3 4 5 11. Tuning the other person out 1 2 3 4 5 12. Not defending my position. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Throwing insults and digs. 1 2 3 4 5 14. Negotiating and compromising. 1 2 3 4 5 15. Withdrawing, acting distant and not interested. 1 2 3 4 5 16. Giving in with little attempt to present my side of the issue. 1 2 3 4 5 72

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Conflict Resolution Inventory (Partner-Rating) Instructions: Using the scale 1 =Never and 5=Aiways, rate how frequently your partner uses each of the following styles to deal with arguments or disagreements with you. 1. Launching personal attacks. 1 2 3 4 5 2. Focusing on the problem at hand. 1 2 3 4 5 3. Remaining silent for long periods of time. 1 2 3 4 5 4. Not being willing to stick up for myself. 1 2 3 4 5 5. Exploding and getting out of control. 1 2 3 4 5 6. Sitting down and discussing differences constructively. 1 2 3 4 5 7. Reaching a limit, 'shutting down,' and refusing to talk any further. 1 2 3 4 5 73

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8. Being too compliant. 1 2 3 4 5 9. Getting carried away and saying things that aren't mean. 1 2 3 4 5 10. Finding alternatives that are acceptable to each of us. 1 2 3 4 5 11. Tuning the other person out. 1 2 3 4 5 12. Not defending my position. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Throwing insults and digs. 1 2 3 4 5 14. Negotiating and compromising. 1 2 3 4 5 15. Withdrawing, acting distant and not interested. 1 2 3 4 5 16. Giving in with little attempt to present my side of the issue. 1 2 3 4 5 74

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Cover Letter and Questionnaires in Japanese "=' \o ""C < \o s \a;:g o 1) 2) 3) 4 ) 5) -c, \o \o '0 4595 Saulsbury St. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 U.S.A. Phone (303)456-9947 Fax (303 )456-9897 e-mail: harumi@ossinc.net :s<.ld:... 4 F3 2 0 8"" 5 F3 1 8 ; (0 4 5) 7 7 1-3 3 3 3 go 75

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Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale u 'JJ<..(f) 3 '0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 ) c s 9\ z-0 ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 77

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Kurdek, L. A. (1994). Conflict resolution styles in gay, lesbian, heterosexual nonparent, and neterosexual parent couples. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 705-722. Kurdek, L.A. (1995). Predicting change in marital satisfaction from husbands' and wives' conflict resolution styles. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 153-164. Ufestyle Study Laboratory (1995). 3 [Survey on the communication practices between husbands and wives]. Osaka, Japan: Daiwa House Industry K.K. Locke, H. J., & Wallace, K. M. (1959). Short marital-adjustment and prediction tests. Marriage and Family Living, 21, 251-255. Matsuura, W. (1986). [A thought on the crises of middle-aged couples]. 4 9, 88-101. Nagatsu, M. (1987). 2 3 o [Marital happiness of couples in their 20s and 30s]. 1 2 75-84. Nagatsu, M. (1992). [Married couples' relationships and their gender roles]. 6 6, 80-89. Nagatsu, M. (1993). [How to grasp the quality of relationship between husband and wife]. .. J..2, 40-59. Nakama, M. (1991 ). [Family stability and tense]. .. 1 '57-81 [A distinctive feature of the Japanese]. (1979). Tokyo: Department of Culture. 1 9 9 51:fJ;N [White Report, 1995]. Tokyo: Department of Economic Planning. 1 9 9 [White Report, 1996]. Tokyo: Department of Economic Planning. 84

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Ninomiya, S. (1996). [Chang in the family law]. Kyoto, Japan: Kamogawa Booklet. Nishimura N. (1981). [Equal rights between husbands and wives and their name]. 5 3, 86-90 Nitta, H. (1975). ::;z [Case study of married couples' conflicts under iesystem]. 1 4 7, 80-89. Nitta, H. (1995). Y"(O) 1 0 1 [101 thoughts for marriage and family]. Tokyo: Nippon Hyoronsya. Okado, T. (1991) [Lectures on family psychology]. Tokyo: Kaneko Shobo. Onode, s. & Motomura, H. (1986). '.)7 1J 7 1 [Spousal marital satisfaction and child's personality]. 7\:B-&r=P:ll 3 4 I 387-399. Ozawa C (1987) [Marital satisfaction in dural income couples]. 6 1-6. Rausch, H L. (1974). Communication, conflict, and marriage. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Roach, A. J., Frazier, L P., & Bowden, S. R. (1981). The marital satisfaction scale: Development of a measure for intervention research. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 43, 573-546. Satake, H. (1995). [Conflicts between husbands and wives]. Osaka: Suzaku Shobo. Sato, E. (1988). [Communication between estranged married couples]. 3 7, 33-38. Sato, E. (1992). ::/?" [Conflicts between husbands and wives and counselling]. v 'J ':J :/1z1J :/'J', 249-259. 85

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Schumm, W. R., Paff-Bergen, L.A., Hatch, R. C., Obiorah, F. C., Copeland, J. M., Meens, L. D., & Bugaighis, M.A. (1986). Concurrent and discriminant validity of the Kansas marital satisfaction scale. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 481 381-387. Sodei, T. & Tsuzuki, S. (1985). [Marital satisfaction in retired couples]. 2 2, 63-77. Sodei, T. (1990). [Retired couples]. Journal of Home Economics of Japan. 41, 76-77. Stinnett, N., Collins, J., & Montgomery, J. E. (1970). Marital need satisfaction of older husbands and wives. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 32, 428-434. Takahashi, M. (1991 ). [Marital satisfaction in elderly couples]. 3 3 I 15-25. Takeda, T. (1970). [Study of folklore of /e]. Tokyo: Koubunsya. Takizawa, I. (1989). [Married couples and their sex]. -tz=::_)-, 3 41 36-39. Tanaka, M. (1968). [Social background of couples' conflicts]. 8 1 3 83-1 01. Tsuge, A. (1992). 2 1 [Married couples and their families in the next century]. 5 6 26-29 Ueki, K. (1965). 2 [A history of Japan: No.2]. Tokyo: Chuo-Koronsya. van Wolferen, K. (1994). [rhe false realities of a politicized society]. Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbunsya. 86