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Description de l’éditeur
The significant increase in the elderly population of the United States raises new social service and health issues. In 2000, 12.4 percent of the total population was over age 65, and by 2025 that percentage is predicted to be approximately 18.5 (Reeves & Bennett, 2004; U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). As a segment of that group, the elderly Asian minority population has increased dramatically, up 76 percent from 1990 to 2000, as compared with the 9.2 percent growth rate of the elderly white population. From 2000 to 2025, the elderly Asian population is expected to increase by 246 percent, compared with a 73 percent increase in the elderly white population (Mui & Kang, 2006). Among elderly Asian minorities, elderly Korean immigrants--consisting of 6.4 percent (or 68,505 individuals) out of the total Korean immigrant population in 2000--are one of the most rapidly growing groups in the United States. From 1980 to 1990, elderly Korean immigrants increased by 309 percent, whereas from 1990 to 2000 this same population increased by 102 percent (Y. M. Lee, 2007). Approximately 95 percent of Korean immigrant elders are foreign born (Yamamoto, Rhee, & Chang, 1994), having usually been invited to the United States by family members or relatives who already live here. Many Korean immigrant elders have experienced stress related to adjustment and socioeconomic changes. Various researchers have documented the psychological problems of Asian and Hispanic immigrant elders in the United States (Gonzalez, Haan, & Hinton, 2001; Mui, 1996). For example, Gonzalez et al. (2001) found that Mexican American immigrant elders had more symptoms of depression than U.S.-born elders. Mui (1996) reported that Chinese American immigrants were likely to develop psychological health problems due to the stress of immigration. Some studies have identified acculturation and socioeconomic factors influencing the psychological well-being of Asian and Hispanic imnfigrant elders (Mui, 1998; Mui & Kang, 2006). Mui and Kang (2006) found that the cultural gap and a high number of stressful life events were related to depression in Asian immigrant elders. A few studies have examined acculturation factors influencing depression or depressive symptoms among Korean immigrant elders (H.Y. Lee, Moon, & Knight, 2004; Min, Moon, & Lubben, 2005). However, little is known about what factors have a significant effect on the general well-being (including both physical and psychological health--that is, anxiety, depression, positive well-being, self-control, vitality, and general health) of low-income Korean immigrant elders. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore factors that may significantly influence the general well-being of low-income Korean immigrant elders. This study is essential to understanding the comprehensive general well-being, adjustment, and socioeconomic stressors as well as the coping resources of the elderly Korean immigrant community. It aimed to provide suggestions for social work services in minimizing and alleviating the problems of immigrant elders.