Journal of Undergraduate Research


family structure, transitions on adolescent stress, Korea


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




A wide scope of research has been done on family structures in the United States and Western culture. Research has moved from studying divorce extensively to researching cohabitation, just as extensively (Kennedy and Fitch, 2012). Korea, due to their strong cultural focus on traditional families, is only recently beginning to change to become more similar to the family structure trends of the Western world (Park and Raymo, 2013; Park, Choi and Jo, 2015). A good deal of the research on Korean families focuses on the effect of the family structure on education (Kim and Byun 2013). Very little on nontraditional family structures, or their effects on individuals, has been done in the Korean setting. Research in the United States on these topics has been and continues to be thorough. It is relevant to note, however, that often families are categorized into one type of structure for research purposes, when really these families have experienced one or more transitions from one structure type to another (Osborne and Mclanahan, 2007). Examining the effects of such transitions can more accurately portray family structure as more fluid instead of as a single category. This in turn could shed more light on the effects of these transitions on all members of the family, although we will be focusing especially on adolescent children. Our hypothesis is that when an adolescent has experienced more transitions within their family structure (i.e. married parents to divorced, single to married, etc.) their stress levels will be higher overall as they lack a solid family base, even temporarily.

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