Effects of conflict with mothers-in-law on psychological well-being and marital adjustment among Korean daughters-in-law
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The purpose of this study was to examine various factors associated with different levels of adaptation to conflict with mothers-in-law among Korean daughters-in-law. The Double ABCX model of family stress and adaptation provided a conceptual framework for this study. Frequency of conflict was selected as a pile-up factor (aA). Resource factors (bB) in this study included self-efficacy and social support. Perceived severity of conflict, positive appraisal, and four types of blame (self-behavior blame, self-character blame, other blame, and impersonal blame) were selected as perception factors (cC). The adaptation factors (xX) were daughter-in-law's psychological well-being and marital adjustment. Based on these factors, 10 hypotheses were organized and tested by conducting multiple regression analyses. Findings of the study were based on questionnaire responses from 199 daughters-in-law who lived in Seoul, Korea. Results of the multiple regression analysis on daughter-in-law's psychological well-being indicated that higher scores on the psychological well-being were significantly associated with (a) a lower level of perceived severity of conflict, (b) greater self-behavior blame for the conflict, (c) less ascription of blame to the impersonal world, and (d) greater emotional support from people in daughter-in-law's social networks. Although eight of the 11 independent variables were significantly correlated with marital adjustment, multiple regression results showed that husband's helpfulness in the context of conflict with the mother-in-law was the only significant predictor of daughter-in-law's marital adjustment. An exploratory path analysis provided information of indirect effects of certain independent variables on psychological well-being. Frequency of conflict influenced daughter-in-law's psychological well-being indirectly through the other independent variables, such as emotional support, perceived severity of conflict, self-behavior blame, and impersonal blame. The perceived severity of conflict played another mediational role between self-efficacy and psychological well-being. Informational support influenced psychological well-being indirectly through emotional support.