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  • Editorial Comments
  • Donald Swenson

Five articles form the substance of this first issue of 2020. They fit nicely into two themes: marriage and parenting. Two articles, “Reasons for Delaying Marriage: Attitudes of Young, Educated Women in South Africa,” and “Love across Borders: On Population Structures, Meeting Places and Preferences in a Globalizing World” capture the marriage theme. Three articles, “Helicopter Parenting, Parental Psychological and Behavioral Control Revisited: Assessing Constructs Across the United States and South Korea,” “Do Only-Children Communicate Better Than Non-Only Children? A Study of Medical Students in China,” and “Understanding the Time Pressure of Working Parents: How Parents’ Childcare Time Impacts the Diurnal Organization of Activities and the Sense of Feeling Rushed,” constitute the second theme.


Pranitha Maharaj and Thembalethu Shangase offer reasons for marriage delay. They contextualize their study in South Africa which is reflective of similar phenomena on the global scene. Their sample frame is young educated women. They selected thirty female university students in Durban and did a qualitative analysis of their responses to a variety of questions related to their topic of interest. Maharaj and Shangase observed that the women choose later marriage so that they could become financially secure, establish a career and gain financial assets. Their goal was to have a higher standard of living for their potential families. Further, they were selective in who they might marry: men who were similar to them.

Julia H. Schroedter, Jörg Rössel and Emanuela Chiapparini of the University of Zurich and Bern University, addressed what one might term: “The Globalization of Marriage.” Their geographical location is Switzerland, where they examined the factors that resulted in four types of relationships: marriages with a Swiss partner, partners from neighboring countries, those from other European nations and, lastly, those from overseas. They investigated national structures of the Swiss partner market and the individual resources of the partners. The authors used a mixed methods approach consisting of census data as well survey data. They also interviewed 12 persons where at least one partner was abroad when they met. Among other things, they discovered that potential marriage were influenced by opportunities of the partner market in Switzerland as well as individual characteristics like age and education. Marriage potential is, thus, an effect both of structural factors and individual agency.


The first article addresses the topic of “helicopter parenting.” Yue Zhang, Woosang Hwang, Eunjoo Jung, Seong Hee Kim and Hye Lim Sin compare the phenomena between the United States and South Korea. This paper is not [End Page 1] substantive in nature, but, rather, focuses on the validity of the key phenomena of interest: helicopter parenting in a cross-cultural context. The mechanism the authors used was to compare this construct with other like constructs, psychological control and behavioral control. College students from the US (N=380) and South Korea (204) filled out the appropriate instrument that was used in their analysis. The primary results, using structural equation modelling, indicate that helicopter parenting was a correlated with but a separate construct from psychological control and behavioral control in both cross-cultural samples. The authors argue that investigating the validity issue of helicopter parenting in a cross-cultural context adds to a better understanding of helicopter parenting and parental control from Eastern and Western societies.

The second paper of this theme comes from China. The authors, Wei Wang, Jie Zhang, Dwight A. Hennessy and Wenqiang Yin, focus their article with a research question that approximates the title of their paper: Do Only-Children Communicate Better than Non-Only Children? Their aim was to explore the communication ability of only-children compared to children raised with siblings. Their sample consisted of 1,376 medical students who responded to items of and filled the instrument called the Interpersonal Communication Ability Assessment Scale. Several methodologies were used in the analysis: a T-test, logistic regression, and ANOVA. Essentially, the authors found no significant differences in regard to communication ability. The lack of differences was accounted for by controlling for socio-demographic factors.

Seung-Eun Cha and Georgios Papastefanou authored the third paper under the theme of parenting. Their interest is on the association between parental childcare time and subjective...


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