Faculty Publications

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Journal of Global Health Reports






immigrants, South Korea, religion, spirituality


Sociology of Religion



Korean American immigrants have become one of the largest Asian American ethnic group in the United States, and Christianity have been preserving their ethnic identities. However, little is known if church commitment is associated with developing emotional well-being and work capacity. The study aims to understand the attachment to church and its effect on level of emotional well-being and work (or school) performance among South Korean young adult immigrants who have a strong faith in Christianity.


A sequential, mixed-methods study examined two dimensions of church attachment, level of religious belief and involvement in church activities. A total of 23 participants was initially recruited through purposive and snowball sampling, and then 22 of them were divided into two high-belief groups—high-active church members and low-active church members – for further analysis. A screening questionnaire, a quantitative component, was used to exclude a low-level believer. Consecutively, an in-depth interview, a qualitative component, was conducted to further investigate the emotional well-being and work (or school) performance.


Although a small sample was collected, it generated initial insights into the effects of time commitment for church among immigrants. Regardless of leadership roles and level of activity at church, strong beliefs appeared to improve emotional well-being and support motivation to improve the performance of major activity of daily living.


The major significance was to support further research on religious belief and practice and its potential association with emotional well-being and social adjustment for Koreans, as well as other immigrants. The study applied a culturally specific lens to focus on a particular minority immigrant population.


This article can also be read online and data sets can be found here.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.