The Role of Ethnic Community Social Capital in the Association between Acculturation and Psychological Distress among Older Korean Americans

Juyoung Park, María P. Aranda, Yeon Jin Choi, Yuri Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Guided by the theories of social capital and stress-buffering, we examined how the association between low acculturation and poor mental health among older immigrants would be modified by social capital in ethnic communities (social cohesion, social engagement, perceived ethnic density, and the quality of social interaction). Using data from the Study of Older Korean Americans (N = 2,150, Mean age = 73.4), direct and interactive effect models were examined. Lower acculturation was associated with a greater level of psychological distress, and their link was modified by social cohesion (β =.19, p <.01) and negative social interactions (β = −.97, p <.01). Findings suggest that the mental health risk associated with low acculturation could be intensified when older immigrants perceive low sense of cohesion in their ethnic communities or have negative interactions with ethnic community members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-615
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Ethnic communities
  • Korean immigrants
  • Psychological distress
  • Social capital

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