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J Soc Psychol. 2002 Aug;142(4):511-26.

Acculturation, stress, and depressive symptoms among Korean immigrants in the United States.

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  • 1School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


A sample of 157 Korean immigrants responded to measures of acculturation level, stress from acculturation, and depressive symptoms. The authors hypothesized that adaptive acculturation would depend on assimilation regarding social interactions and the host culture's language as well as on retention of a core identity, including values and traditions of the culture of origin. Consistent with the mediation hypothesis, acculturation, based on a factor representing language use and social relationships, was related to lower acculturative stress and, in turn, lower depression. However, there was no direct support for the integrative, or bicultural, strategy of acculturation. Stress did not mediate the effect of a 2nd acculturation factor, identity and tradition-based acculturation. Rather, this measure of acculturation was directly related to higher depression (i.e., immigrants reporting abandonment of Korean identity, traditions, and values scored higher for depression).

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