PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to describe the health behavior experience of middle-aged Korean women in rural areas, and to help understand their health practice, perceive their nursing needs and provide guidelines to developing appropriate nursing interventions. METHOD: The participants were 18 healthy middle-aged women living in rural areas, with no serious illness that require hospitalization. The data was collected through interviews and participant observation, analyzed by the grounded theory methodology of Strauss and Corbin(1997). The data collection period was from April to November of 2001. RESULT: Depending on the paradigm model, the central phenomenon was family-oriented pursuing of yangsaeng. The causal condition was less confidence on one's own health, responsibilities in caring for family. The contexts were cultural system. The intervening condition was information system, support system, limitation of approaching a medical institution. The action/ interaction strategies were yangsaeng through dietary practice, yangsaeng through promoting clothing and housing, yangsaeng through exercise, practice of folk therapy, yangsaeng through mental hygiene, and use of medical institution. The consequences were stabilization of body and mind, and stabilization of family. CONCLUSION: It is recommended for nurses to understand health behavior experience of middle-aged women, and provide nursing intervention with theoretical scheme and practical principles so that these women can pursue the family-oriented process of yangsaeng.