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Korean-American Population and Acculturation Essay

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Introduction

In this paper I will discuss examine how the unique cultural aspects of Korean-Americans and acculturation contribute to the high rates of depression and suicide ideation, using John Berry’s Four-Cell Typology as a model. I will also discuss how their culture influences views on mental health, and how these views determine their attitudes toward seeking treatment and mental well-being.
Psychological adjustment to acculturation is a key factor for Korean-Americans. Coming from a uniquely strong patriarchal and collectivist society, Koreans have deep religious roots in Confucianism that emphasizes obligation to family and society. It is no wonder then, that the process of acculturating into the individualistic, multi-cultural patchwork of America would be a variable in the high rates of depression and suicide ideation of this under-represented population.

Framework of Korean-American Culture and Issues of Acculturation

Koreans are the third largest and fastest growing minority populations in the United States. They are mainly middle to upper middle class, well-educated individuals who are strongly defined by their native culture. This population is defined by three groups: first generation- which are people born in Korea to Korean parents, who have immigrated and reside in the United States, and are either American citizens or have obtained permanent status. A very small part of this population is made up of college-age young adults who have student visas who may or may not have established family or social support. The second generation is comprised of individuals born in the United States to first generation Korean parents. There is a third group, who are individuals who have been in the United ...


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...nship between degree of acculturation and adjustment difficulties among Korean immigrants living in a western society. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 35, 409-426.

Songco, D. /Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, (2009, August 4). Acculturation. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from http://www.slideshare.net/dsongco/acculturation

Suinn, R. M. (2010). Reviewing Acculturation and Asian Americans: How Acculturation
Affects Health, Adjustment, School Achievement, and Counseling. Asian
American Journal of Psychology, 1(1), 5-17. Retrieved from DOI:
10.1037/a0018798

Yeh, C. J. (2003). Age, acculturation, cultural adjustment, and mental health symptoms
of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese immigrant youths. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9(1), 34-48. doi:10.1037//1099-9809.9.1.34








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