Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Driessnack, Martha

First Committee Member

McCarthy, Ann Marie

Second Committee Member

Ayres, Lioness

Third Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Fourth Committee Member

Hourcade, Juan Pablo


The purpose of this study was to explore the use of video-mediated communication (VMC) to support couples separated during classic Satogaeri Bunben. Satogaeri Bunben refers to the Japanese tradition when a pregnant woman leaves her own home to return to her parents' home during the prenatal period, while her husband often stays behind in the couple's house. When a couple geographically live apart during Satogaeri Bunben, it may decrease father-infant attachment and the negatively impact the marital relationship. VMC was selected as the supportive intervention for couples choosing Satogaeri Bunben in this study because: 1) it provides additional visual cues, which are particularly important because Japanese communication is highly contextual and often more nonverbal than verbal, 2) the addition of visual cues allow husbands the opportunity to see their infant, because they cannot talk, and 3) Japan has one of the best broadband systems worldwide. The specific aims were to explore VMC during Satogaeri Bunben in relation to father-infant attachment and the marital relationship and to describe VMC experiences of Japanese couples separated during Satogaeri Bunben. A comparative case study design with a mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis was used. The specific mixed methods approach used was a [QUAL + quan] triangulation-convergence model. For the qualitative data, the primary source of data was the Participant Diary. The primary sources of quantitative data included three instruments: 1) Taiji Kanjyo Hyotei Syakudo (TKHS), 2) Intimate Bond Measure (IBM), and 3) Primary Communication Inventory (PCI). The PCI was translated into Japanese for this study using a committee approach.

Four couples were participated in this study. Data collection for each couple took approximately two to three month to complete. Qualitative data analysis divided the couples in two groups: 1) the engaged group, who were very attentive each other's feelings and 2) the detached group, who were inattentive. The PCI scores further supported the existence of two groups. However, the TKHS and IBM scores were mixed. The limitations included a small sample size and lack of variability in sample characteristics, and short time frame. This study was also the first time to use a newly translated PCI in Japanese. This study successfully explored the use of VMC to support couples choosing Satogaeri Bunben focusing on decreasing the impact of the separation of the couple and later the separation of the husband from his new infant. The qualitative and quantitative findings provided a first glimpse into four couples' feelings and VMC experiences during Satogaeri Bunben, especially in relation to father-infant attachment and the marital relationship. The use of VMC provided ongoing virtual, rather than physical co-presence, which may help couple's communication and relationship during their separation, as they transitioned to parenthood.


comparative case study, father-infant attachment, marital relationship, mixed method, Satogaeri Bunben, video-mediated communication


2, viii, 167 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 151-167).


Copyright 2011 Ryoko Furukawa

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