A bidimensional model of acculturation for Korean American older adults

Yuri Jang, Giyeon Kim, David Chiriboga, Bellinda King-Kallimanis

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88 Scopus citations


With the growth of immigrant populations and the increasing awareness and appreciation for the cultural diversity in the U.S., the present study assessed a model of acculturation with a sample of Korean American older adults. We addressed a bidimensional model of acculturation, considering both orientations toward home and host cultures, and assessed the relevance of Berry's four-cell typology of acculturation (integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization). Based on the unique characteristics of the present sample, including that they were all born in Korea and had been exposed to their home culture for a substantial amount of time, we hypothesized that their orientation towards original culture would be strong and that simple application of Berry's four-cell typology would not be relevant. As expected, scores on Korean orientation were distributed toward the high end of the scale, suggesting a high level of familiarity and adherence to the original culture; scores on American orientation were correspondingly low. Cluster analysis showed that a two-cluster model was an optimal group classification in the sample used in this investigation. The groups were identified as "integrated group" and "separated group." Compared to the separated group, integrated group was more likely to be younger, married, and educated. More years of residence in the U.S. and better physical and mental health were observed among those who were integrated. The findings call attention to the needs to consider the unique nature of immigrant samples in order to adequately apply the acculturation typologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was supported by the National Institute on Aging Research Grant Program (1R03 AG 26332-01).


  • Bidimensional model of acculturation
  • Korean American older adults


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