The lived experience of Korean immigrant women acculturating into the United States

Kyung Rim Shin, Chol Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Immigration to a different country and a new way of life affects immigrants in many different ways. The changes that occur can influence the way they live and think as well as their personal health. This is especially true with Korean women. However, we still do not have sufficient knowledge about how these women adjust to their new environments. The rate of Korean immigration to the United States has gradually increased since 1965. According to Bouvier and Arnold, the Korean immigrant population is estimated to reach 1.3 million in the year 2000. Korea ranks fourth in number of emigrants, closely following the Philippines, China, and Vietnam. Research reveals that approximately 45% of recent emigrants are women, and this percentage is rapidly increasing. Research concerning this population's lives, their process of acculturation, and, above all, their health and well-being is lacking greatly in quantity and quality. This study demonstrates that the change of women's roles, due to their process of acculturation, cannot be considered separate from their well-being. For this study, 6 Korean women immigrants living in New York were chosen to provide information. The participants volunteered under the condition that their privacy and confidentiality would be protected. A pattern of acculturation experience was revealed in four successive, principal stages: dreams, conflicts, renunciation, and remorse. Hopefully, the following descriptive data will provide knowledge for implementing qualitative care requirements for Korean women immigrants in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-617
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Care for Woman International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Health Professions


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