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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 522–532 | Cite as

Effects of Ethnic Identity on the Relationship Between Mental Health and Perceived Discrimination Among Ethnic Return Migrants: The Case of Korean Chinese Return-Migrated to South Korea

  • Jihyung HongEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined the relationship among mental health, perceived discrimination and ethnic identity among Korean Chinese (Joseonjok) who have return-migrated to South Korea. A survey was conducted with 399 Joseonjok adults (≥ 19 years) residing in the capital city Seoul or nearby. Depression was measured using the (self-report) Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Korean (CES-D-K) version (n = 292, mean age = 42.6, female = 56.5%). Perceived discrimination and ethnic identity were assessed with single-item questions. The mean CES-D-K total score was 9.3 (SD = 8.4) and 20.6% had clinical depression (cut-off score: 16). Perceived discrimination was positively associated with CES-D-K scores (regression coefficient = 2.09, p = 0.04). This association was stronger in those identifying themselves more strongly as ‘Korean’ than ‘Chinese’. Discrimination by ‘co-ethnic hosts’ can have a greater impact on mental health among those ethnic return migrants with a stronger ethnic identity. More efforts are needed to help them better integrate into South Korean society.

Keywords

Korean Chinese Depression Discrimination Identity Ethnic return migrants 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to express gratitude to all survey participants and the Federation of Korean Chinese Associations (‘중국동포연합중앙회’ in Korean), and special thanks to Mr. Young-Min Kim and Mr. Seong-Gon Kim for helping on data collection as well as Dr. Jong-Hyun Yi for his valuable comments on this manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by the Gachon University research fund of 2016 (GCU-2016-0086).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Author Jihyung Hong declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Healthcare Management, College of Social ScienceGachon UniversitySeongnamSouth Korea

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