Investigation of the Acculturation and the Mental Health Status of Immigrants in Korea, an Emerging Destination Country

Min Jeong Kim, Seoul National University
Chaelin Karen Ra, Seoul National University
Youngtae Cho, Seoul National University

Korea is an emerging destination country for immigrants, but very little is understood about their health. In order to conduct the study on the immigrants' health, we observed the studies done in the traditional destination countries. An interesting phenomenon called epidemiological paradox was observed, which led us to examine the health of the immigrants related to the level of acculturation in Korea. The data of Foreign Residents in Korea 2012 were used to estimate logistic regression models of mental health among foreign residents in Korea, including those with permanent residency and citizenship. Our results suggest that the experience of discrimination is an important indicator of mental health, but affects the mental health independently of the acculturation level. Provisionally, social support in terms of living with the family tends to play a role with protecting the mental health along with the increase in the acculturation level.

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Presented in Session 111: Assimilation and Integration: International Perspectives