The common stereotype of the inexpressive Asian, holding all emotions at bay, continues in our expectations of how Asian couples relate in intimate relationships. There is also a widely held belief that Asian marriages embrace more covenant-oriented commitments, compromising individual freedom and expression for the sake of harmony and integration of the couple. The current study attempted to test these stereotypes among Koreans living in the United States and Native Koreans. Results indicated that the dominant culture significantly shapes the expression and importance of alexithymia among Koreans, but when Koreans are a minority group, traditional beliefs may exert an even greater influence on the covenantal aspects of the couple relationship. Most interestingly, couples with only one Korean member had very different results than the other groups; most notably in a strong significant negative relationship between emotional intelligence and relationship satisfaction.
Lee, Victoria; Berg-Cross, Linda; and Suh, Kyung, "Relationship Satisfaction in Native Koreans and Korean Americans as a Function of Alexithymia, Emotional Intelligence, and Marital Vows Orientation" (2013). Department of Psychology Faculty Publications. 14.