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The Long Way to Refugee Status Acquisition and Mental Health in Post-Migration: Based on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in South Korea

Abstract

Apart from North Korean defectors, South Korea is becoming a destination for Asylum seekers from all over the world. However, 1 out of 220 asylum applicants receives recognition through long and arduous administration and litigation process while being underrepresented in any kind of support services.

This particular study comparatively tested the mental health status of recognized refugees(n = 45) and Asylum applicants (n = 55) to determine if the acquisition of refugee status could make a difference in their overall quality of life. We first employed the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Test and then applied an independent t-test using SPSS 22 software.

As a result, there is a statistically significant difference in the mean scores of depression and anxiety. However, the stress scale did not show a statistical significance--indicating there are still lingering stressing factors even after the acquisition of refugee status. Ways and preconditions to improve the mental health service for asylum seekers and refugees are suggested at the end of the paper.

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Fig. 1

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Correspondence to Israel Fisseha Feyissa.

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Conflict of Interest

There is no conflict of interest to disclose for this research. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of Chonbuk national university (reference number: 2018–11–016-001) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Again, informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Yoon, M.S., Feyissa, I.F. & Jung, E.H. The Long Way to Refugee Status Acquisition and Mental Health in Post-Migration: Based on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in South Korea. Psychiatr Q (2020) doi:10.1007/s11126-020-09714-9

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Keywords

  • Post-migration
  • Refugee status acquisition
  • Mental health
  • Recognized refugees
  • Asylum seekers