Risk Factors for Social Isolation in Older Korean Americans

Yuri Jang, Nan Sook Park, David A. Chiriboga, Hyunwoo Yoon, Jisook Ko, Juyoung Lee, Miyong T. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: Given the importance of social ties and connectedness in the lives of older ethnic immigrants, the present study examined the prevalence of social isolation and its risk factors in older Korean Americans. Method: Using survey data from 1,301 participants (Mage = 70.5, SD = 7.24), risk groups for marginal social ties with family and friends were identified and predictors of each type of social isolation explored. Results: Male gender and poorer rating of health were identified as common risk factors for marginal ties to both family and friends. Findings also present specific risk factors for each type of social isolation. For example, an increased risk of having marginal ties with friends was observed among individuals with perceived financial strain, greater functional impairment, and a shorter stay in the United States. Discussion: The common and specific risk factors should be incorporated in programs to reduce social isolation in older immigrant populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • ethnic minority older adults
  • social isolation
  • social ties


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