Cultural Orientation and Psychosocial Adjustment Among Immigrant Adolescents in South Korea

Bee Ryou, Yoonsun Choi, Jun Sung Hong, Kihyun Kim

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2 Scopus citations


The present study primarily uses Berry’s theoretical model to examine national identity, acculturation (to South Korea), ethnic identity, and enculturation (to country-of-origin), and how they are linked to immigrant adolescents’ aggression and depression in South Korea. Data were collected from 120 immigrant youths (i.e., those born in South Korea and those born in their country-of-origin) in eight middle schools. Analyses include multivariate regression and cluster analyses. Findings indicate that South Korean identity (m = 48, F = 77.0, p <.001), acculturation to South Korean culture (m = 44.9, F = 52.3, p <.01), and mother’s Korean proficiency (m = 3.6, F = 10.9, p <.001) were higher among Korea-born adolescents. Enculturation (m = 35.5, F = 13.7, p <.001) and depression (m = 36.4, F = 15.3, p <.001) were higher among foreign-born adolescents. Aggression (r = −.26, p <.01) and depression (r = −.46, p <.01) were lower among native-born Korean adolescents. South Korean identity (B = −.27, p =.02) and acculturation (B = −.28, p =.01) were negatively associated with aggression. South Korean identity (B = −.22, p =.04), acculturation (B = −.21, p =.03), and ethnic identity (B = −.17, p =.02) were negatively associated with depression. Integration youth (M = 12.7) and assimilation youth (M = 11.5) reported lower aggression than marginalization youth (M = 15.8, F = 5.48, p <.01). Assimilation type had better outcomes than separation and marginalization types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-777
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Acculturation
  • Adolescents
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Immigrant
  • South Korea


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