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Convergence towards diversity?: cohort analysis of fertility and family formation in South Korea

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This dissertation explores changes in fertility and family formation in South Korea, a setting in which rapid demographic changes have taken place since the early twentieth century. Despite active debate and discussion among experts and policymakers, knowledge is still limited

This dissertation explores changes in fertility and family formation in South Korea, a setting in which rapid demographic changes have taken place since the early twentieth century. Despite active debate and discussion among experts and policymakers, knowledge is still limited in regards to the country’s significant demographic changes. I take advantage of Korean census samples data from 1966 to 2010, which span birth cohorts from pre- and early-transitional stages to post-transitional stages, which comprise the entry stage of the second demographic transition. From a cohort perspective, I use diverse demographic methods to analyze three different aspects of fertility and family formation—fertility differentials, marriage delay, and fertility concentration.

The findings illustrate how fertility and marriage patterns have changed over generations and range from a politically tumultuous period, which includes World War II, liberation, and the Korean War, to an advanced economic period. By and large, the three studies suggest that until 1960, fertility and family formation converged as per social norms and leadership guidelines. Then, marriage and childbearing behaviors began to diversify and variation by social groups increased for cohorts born during and after the 1960s. The phrase “convergence towards diversity” captures the reversal of demographic trends within the country. Taken together, this dissertation advances our understanding of how fertility and family formation have changed in South Korea, which has been on an intense demographic journey from pre-transitional fertility through very low fertility, and currently headed toward another destination.

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Date Created
2015

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Equine Assisted Learning: An Evidence-Based Intervention for Families

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Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy

Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy which is being used increasingly to promote mental health in both adults and children. This study sought to build and deliver an evidence-based, family-centered equine assisted learning program aimed at promoting family function, family satisfaction and child social-emotional competence, and to measure its acceptability and preliminary effect.

Method: Twenty families with children 10 years and older were recruited to participate in a 3-week equine assisted learning program at a therapeutic riding center in Phoenix, Arizona. Sessions included groundwork activities with horses used to promote life skills using experiential learning theory. The study design included a mixed-method quasi-experimental one-group pretest posttest design using the following mental health instruments: Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment, Brief Family Assessment Measure (3 dimensions), and Family Satisfaction Scale to measure child social-emotional competence, family function, and family satisfaction, respectively. Acceptability was determined using a Likert-type questionnaire with open-ended questions to gain a qualitative thematic perspective of the experience.

Results: Preliminary pretest and posttest comparisons were statistically significant for improvements in family satisfaction (p = 0.001, M = -5.84, SD = 5.63), all three domains of family function (General Scale: p = 0.005, M = 6.84, SD = 9.20; Self-Rating Scale: p = 0.050, M = 6.53, SD = 12.89; and Dyadic Relationship Scale: p = 0.028, M = 3.47, SD = 7.18), and child social-emotional competence (p = 0.015, M = -4.05, SD 5.95). Effect sizes were moderate to large (d > 0.5) for all but one instrument (Self-Rating Scale), suggesting a considerable magnitude of change over the three-week period. The intervention was highly accepted among both children and adults. Themes of proximity, self-discovery, and regard for others emerged during evaluation of qualitative findings. Longitudinal comparisons of baseline and 3-month follow-up remain in-progress, a topic available for future discussion.

Discussion: Results help to validate equine assisted learning as a valuable tool in the promotion of child social-emotional intelligence strengthened in part by the promotion of family function and family satisfaction. For mental health professionals, these results serve as a reminder of the alternatives that are available, as well as the importance of partnerships within the community. For therapeutic riding centers, these results help equine professionals validate their programs and gain a foothold within the scientific community. Additionally, they invite future riding centers to follow course in incorporating evidence into their programs and examining new directions for growth within the mental health community.

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2019-05-02