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The quality of family relationships and its effect on Koreans’ Dream-capital by generation

Kim, Seok-ho | Seoul National University

Jung, Woo-Yeon | Seoul National University

Cho Ha-young | Seoul National University

Kim, Ji-yoon | Seoul National University

Kim, Doohwan | Duksung Women’s University


This study focuses on the quality of family relationships across generations which is proposed to make a difference in conditions and abilities to dream in Korean society. In recent years, Korean families have undergone changes in household composition due to the decreased family size and family relationships changed accordingly. Despite these changes in family composition, family is still reckoned as ideal form of relationship for Koreans as people establish their core values and seek meaning in life by interacting with family members. However, family relationship and interaction with family members can have a different impact on people depending on their generation. In this regard, this research posits that the ability to dream, in other words “dream-capital” would be closely related to the meaning imposed on family, the expectation imposed on family as well as given by family, and material or emotional support and its interaction effect will vary by generation. The aforementioned “dream-capital” is composed of four dimensions: imagination, hope, optimism and resilience and its effect is examined using “Survey on changes in values and discrete emotions among Koreans” conducted in 2017. Multiple Regression Analysis generally supports that the quality of family relationships does increase the amount of “dream-capital.” However, the interaction effect is not identified consistently in every generation. For people in 60s’ in particular, the higher the scores are for the factors elevating the quality of family, the lower the scores were for imagination, hope and resilience. This result implies that emotional and material support exchanged within family members could be burdensome for people in 60s’ rather than being supportive. Further theoretical explanation needs to be explored and supplemented.


Key words: Family Relationship, Dream-capital, Generational Differences, Stress, Imagination, Optimism, Hope, Resilience


Family and Culture, 31(2) pp.1∼57

DOI: 10.21478/family.31.2.201906.001