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HOME > J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs > Volume 23(2); 2012 > Article
Original Article
Problem behaviors, Cultural Identity and Acculturation of North Korean Refugee Youth
Youngsuk Park
Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing 2012;23(2):144-154.
Published online: June 30, 2012
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Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Korea National Open University, Seoul, Korea.

• Received: February 27, 2012   • Accepted: June 18, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing

  • Purpose
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of problem behaviors, cultural identity and acculturation of North Korean (NK) refugee youth and to suggest an appropriate approach for helping them to adjust to our society based on these findings.
  • Methods
    The subjects were 117 NK adolescent refugees in Hanawon. Data were collected by a demographic questionnaire, Youth Self Report (YSR), the South-North Korean cultural identity.
  • Results
    Problem behaviors of NK refugee youth were the highest in anxiety/depression and withdrawal behavior and were followed by internalized behavior, aggressiveness, overall problem behavior, externalized behavior, delinquency and positive behavior in that order. Acculturation was the highest in 'separation' followed by 'integration', 'assimilation' and 'marginalization' in that order. No significant relationship was found between acculturation types and problem behaviors except positive behavior.
  • Conclusion
    This study provides some important information that we have to develop specific strategies and interventions primarily focused on withdrawal, anxiety/depression, and internalization for the adjustment and mental health of NK refugee youth. It is necessary to explore further research related to cultural identity, acculturation processes, and the correlation between acculturation types and problem behaviors.

The present study was supported by the School Grant of Korea National Open University in 2010.

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Figure 1
Means of problem behaviors according to cultural identity clusters.
Table 1
General Characteristics of the Subjects (N=117)
Table 2
Descriptive Statistics of Problem Behaviors and Cultural Identity
Table 3
Cultural Identity Clusters
Table 4
Characteristics of Cultural Identity Clusters
Table 5
Means of Major Variables according to Cultural Identity Clusters

Figure & Data



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