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The Role of Multicultural Social Network in the Relationship between Acculturative Stress and Depression among Korean Immigrants in the U.S.

Song, Hae Ran (2021) The Role of Multicultural Social Network in the Relationship between Acculturative Stress and Depression among Korean Immigrants in the U.S. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Acculturative stress is a salient predictor of depressive symptomatology among immigrant populations while social support and social networks among the immigrant population have been shown to buffer the effects of stress. Drawing on acculturation theory and stress-coping theory, this study tested the associations between social support (measured by global social support measure (i.e., 2-way SSS) and egocentric social network, acculturative stress (measured by RASI) and depressive symptomatology (measured by PHQ-9). More specifically, this study investigates if the source of social support of immigrants, whether it originates from the conational, host, and non-conational immigrant groups, influences these relationships. Compared to the studies of conational and host groups, the effect of non-conational immigrant groups’ social support and social networks in the relation to acculturative stress and depressive symptomatology is rarely studied. To address this gap, the current study used a non-probabilistic sampling method to recruit a total of 190 adult Korean immigrants to complete an online survey. This study hypothesized that global social support and egocentric social network components from non-conational immigrants are significantly associated with a lower level of depressive symptomatology controlling for acculturative stress. In addition to this, its’ buffering effect with acculturative stress on depressive symptomatology are tested. This study cannot find the buffering effects of the social interaction of this group as well as the other two groups between acculturative stress and depressive symptoms. However, the significant main effects of the emotional and instrumental support from non-conational friends on depression were strong even controlling for other two groups’ level of supports. These results lend support to the argument that the preexisting acculturation models, mainly focusing on the two-dimension, need to be reconsidered with more flexible and culturally delicate models. Based on the findings of this study, I propose a three-dimensional model including multiculturalism presenting the non-conational network and culture. This finding can provide social work practitioners with more culturally competent knowledge to effectively deal with the issues of the immigrant population in the U.S.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Song, Hae
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBooth, Jaimejmbooth@pitt.edujmbooth
Committee MemberGreeno, Catherinekgreeno@pitt.edukgreeno
Committee MemberEngel,,rengel
Committee MemberCulyba, Alisonalison.culyba@chp.edualison.culyba
Date: 21 December 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 November 2021
Approval Date: 21 December 2021
Submission Date: 7 December 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 211
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immigrant depression acculturative stress social network social support
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2021 16:42
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 13:13


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