Bilingual gatekeepers’ experiences of immigrant women’s acculturative stress and mental health improvement in Korea: A qualitative analysis

Yun-Jung Choi1
1Red Cross College of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Choi, Y.-J. (2020). Bilingual gatekeepers’ experiences of immigrant women’s acculturative stress and mental health improvement in Korea: A qualitative analysis. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(9), e9306.

Volume 48 Issue 9 | e9306 | Published: September 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9306

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Immigrant women married to Korean men usually experience pressure to adapt to Korean family culture, which leads to increased vulnerability to mental health problems. I trained mental health gatekeepers who spoke both Korean and the women’s original language to work with such women from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Japan. I explored the gatekeepers’ experiences with their clients in focus group interviews, to identify comprehensive perspectives on the provision of services for community mental health practitioners. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis, and I identified 17 codes, 8 interpretive codes, and 4 themes (gatekeepers building relationships from heart to heart, soothing hardship by speaking in the same mother tongue, encouraging mental health literacy, and instilling a sense of fulfillment), all of which motivated the core theme of caring for acculturative stress with fulfillment and pride. As cultural affinity plays a key role, more bilingual gatekeepers should be trained and employed to improve community mental health literacy and the effectiveness of multicultural services.

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