Cho, Youngtae, Soonyim Hur, W. Parker Frisbie, and Robert A. Hummer. “Immigration and Health of Korean Americans” (currently under review at an international journal)
We examined the health and health behaviors of Korean Americans, focusing on the effect of acculturation to U.S. society. A bi-national comparison is carried out, based on Koreans residing in the U.S. and in Korea. Acculturation variables did not show any patterned effect on the health (self-rated health and body weight problems) and health behaviors (smoking and binge drinking) of Korean Americans. Overall, Korean Americans exhibited more advantaged health and more favorable behaviors than Koreans. However, health inequality across socioeconomic status groups was generally much greater among Korean Americans as compared to Koreans residing in Korea. Findings showed that socioeconomic status was the primary factor influencing health and health behaviors among the two groups of Koreans, indicating the influence of U.S. health-related structural environments. Further, our results suggested that a multidimensional acculturation perspective should be employed in understanding the health/health behaviors of immigrant populations.