The Korean American community is one of the major Asian ethnic subgroups in the United States. Though considered among one of the model minority groups, excelling academically and professionally, members in this community are plagued by unaddressed mental health obstacles. In Understanding Korean Americans’ Mental Health: A Guide to Culturally Competent Practices, Program Developments, and Policies, the editors, Anderson Sungmin Yoon, Sung Seek Moon, and Haein Son, examine a variety of mental health issues in the Korean American community, including depression, suicide, substance abuse, and trauma, and convincingly connect these challenges to cultural stigma and racial prejudice.
The editors argue that this population and its mental health needs are neglected by current approaches in mainstream mental health services. Alarmingly, the very cultural values that help make up the Korean American community are contributing to its members’ reluctance to seek care, counting both familial and communal shame among the most pressing culprits. This book supports these claims with statistical realities and seeks to gather the relatively scarce research that does exist on this topic to underscore the heightened prevalence of mental health issues among Korean Americans, and the contributors make recommendations for more culturally competent practices, program developments, and policies.
Anderson Sungmin Yoon is assistant professor of social work at Nyack College and VP of integrated and value-based care at The Child Center of NY.
Sung Seek Moon is professor and Carl and Martha Lindner Endowed Chair for Global Studies at Baylor University.
Haein Son is a licensed clinical social worker and external review director at New York City Children’s Center.
Part 1: Life Development and Mental Health
Chapter 1: Pathways to Mental Health Service Use for Korean American Adolescents: A Case Study
Wenhua Lu, Jessica Cho Kim, and Anderson Sungmin Yoon
Chapter 2: Risk Factors for Child Maltreatment Among Korean Immigrant Parents
Anderson Sungmin Yoon, Sharon Jung, and Yifan Liu
Chapter 3: The Moderating Role of Church-Based and General Social Support to Assist with Acculturation and Depressive Symptoms Among Older Korean Immigrants
Yeon-Shim Lee and Soonhee Roh
Chapter 4: Mental Health and Health Services Used by Korean American Immigrant Older Adults
Seokwon Yoon and Sung Seek Moon
Chapter 5: Limited English Proficiency, Social Determinants, and the Physical and Mental Health Status of Korean Immigrant Elders
Kyoung Hag Lee, Jung Sim Jun, and Hyeyoung Woo
Chapter 6: Gender Differences in Social Network/Support, Technology Use, and Life Satisfaction for Korean Immigrant Elders
Jung Sim Jun and Kyoung Hag Lee
Part 2: Life Circumstances and Mental Health
Chapter 7: Factors to Mental Health Service Utilization Among Korean Americans
Daniel Hyung Jik Lee and Jihee Woo
Chapter 8: Determinants of Mental Health Among Korean Americans
Chapter 9: Shame and Perfectionism in Korean American Culture
Kwiryung Kim Yun
Chapter 10:Intimate Partner Violence Among Korean Americans in the United States
Chapter 11: Culturally Responsive Substance Abuse Interventions for Korean Americans
Sung Seek Moon and Anderson Sungmin Yoon
Chapter 12: Suicidal Behavior Among Korean Americans: Cultural Factors and Implications for Intervention
Sung Seek Moon, Anderson Sungmin Yoon, Haein Son, and Jae Won Kim
Chapter 13: Culturally Competent Treatment Engagement for Korean Americans With Mental Health Issues
Chapter 14: Mental Health & Well-Being of Korean Adoptees over the Life Course
Hollee A. McGinnis
Chapter 15: Beyond Immigration and the Family System: Korean American Mental Health in the Context of Historical and Cultural Trauma
Chapter 16: Challenges and Resilience of Korean Early Study Abroad Students: Implications for Practice
Christina Seowoo Lee and Sumie Okazaki
About the Editors
About the Contributors
Considering the intensifying racial conflicts and drastic increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, this collection of empirical and clinical studies of mental health problems and suicide in a fast-growing Asian American community is much needed and timely. Comprehensive in coverage, this volume discusses diverse cultural and social factors that are pivotal in developing prevention strategies and cultural competence in offering professional mental health care for Korean and other Asian American communities.