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The impact of perceived discrimination on depressive symptoms and the role of differentiated social support among immigrant populations in South Korea

Cited 3 time in Web of Science Cited 4 time in Scopus
Authors
Ra, Chaelin Karen; Huh, Jimi; Finch, Brian Karl; Cho, Youngtae
Issue Date
2019-01-11
Publisher
BioMed Central
Citation
International Journal for Equity in Health, 18(1):7
Keywords
DiscriminationSocial supportDepressive symptomsImmigrantsSouth Korea
Abstract
Background
Previous studies demonstrated a positive association between perceived discrimination and mental health problems among immigrants in countries that traditionally host immigrants. Recent trends in international migration show that there has been a significant increase in immigrant populations in East Asian countries. These newer host countries have different social contexts from traditional ones, yet mental health among these immigrants and its relationship to discrimination are under-researched. Thus, this study aimed to examine the association between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among immigrants in one of the newer host countries, South Korea. Moreover, we investigated if differentiated social support (ethnic, host or other support) serves as a moderator of discrimination for depressive symptoms.

Methods
This study used survey data from the 2012 Korean Social Survey on Foreign Residents (N = 1068), restricted to adults 20 years or older. Multiple linear regression models were conducted to estimate the association between perceived discrimination, social support, and depressive symptoms among immigrants in South Korea.

Results
Perceived discrimination showed a strong positive association with depressive symptoms among immigrants, and ethnic and host support was directly positively associated with depressive symptoms. Furthermore, ethnic support moderated the effects of perceived discrimination on depressive symptoms.

Conclusion
Community-level interventions providing immigrants opportunities to increase social networking members from the same country as well as the native-born in a host country may be helpful resources for improving mental health among immigrants in South Korea. Also, raising awareness of racial discrimination among members in South Korea would be crucial.
ISSN
1475-9276
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/147094
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-0910-9
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Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원)Dept. of Public Health (보건학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_보건학과)
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