Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 1103–1108 | Cite as

Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Depressive Symptoms in International Migrants: A Study with Vietnamese Women in South Korea

  • Yong Ju Cho
  • Yuri Jang
  • Jung Eun KoEmail author
  • Sun Hae Lee
  • Soo Kyung Moon
Original Paper


Globally, there have been increasing numbers of migrant women; these women are at an increased risk for depressive symptoms. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations among acculturation, acculturative stress and depressive symptoms in Vietnamese women who migrated to South Korea through marriages. We hypothesized that acculturative stress would serve as a mediator in the relationship between acculturation and depressive symptoms. Our findings from surveys with 217 Vietnamese immigrant women showed that the indirect effect of acculturation on depressive symptoms, mediated through acculturative stress [− .15 (.04)], was significant (bias corrected 95% confidence interval for the indirect effect = − .25, − .08). Low levels of acculturation increased acculturative stress, which in turn led to the elevated symptoms of depression. Our findings not only illuminate the adaptation processes of international, female migrants but also suggest avenues to protect and promote their mental well-being.


Acculturation Acculturative stress Depressive symptoms Mental health International migrants 



This study was in part supported by the Korea Health Technology R&D Project (HI15C0401) through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors claim that there are no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical Approval

The study has been approved by Chung-Ang University’s Institutional Review Board.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Steve Hicks School of Social WorkThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of CounselingKyung Hee Cyber UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Social WelfareChung-Ang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Social WelfareDaejin UniversityPocheonSouth Korea

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