The deleterious effects of avoidance coping on physical and mental health have been well documented in the general literature as well as for ethnic subgroups in the U.S. For Korean immigrants, this is of particular concern because there is evidence that collectivistic cultural values, which Korean immigrants traditionally hold, are associated with greater use of avoidance coping. The cultural hypothesis posits that even within Korean immigrants stronger collectivistic values would predict greater usage of avoidance coping. In addition, cross-cultural research suggests that men, more so than women, have the role of carrying the traditional cultural values in the family. Thus, in Korean immigrants, Korean men are expected to adhere more strongly to their collectivistic values than their female counterpart. This would in turn suggest a higher use of avoidance coping in Korean immigrant men. This cultural hypothesis for avoidance coping contradicts what the widely accepted socialization hypothesis predicts, a greater usage of avoidance coping for women. To compare the competing hypotheses of culture and socialization for avoidance coping, the present study examined the association between gender and avoidance coping use in Korean immigrants in the U.S. A secondary data analysis was performed using a community data set of 304 Korean immigrants (107 men and 197 women) living in the greater Los Angeles area. A hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine the role of vertical collectivism, gender and their interaction in predicting avoidance coping use. Results of the analysis indicated that although Korean immigrant men were more collectivistic compared to Korean immigrant women, vertical collectivism, female gender and their interaction did not significantly predict avoidance coping use. Supplemental analyses were conducted to examine the association between culture, gender, and other types of coping behaviors. These results indicated that greater alignment to vertical collectivism predicted greater use of problem-solving coping and that Korean immigrant women were more likely to utilize support seeking coping than their male counterparts. Implications of the findings for research and practice with immigrant populations, as well as limitations of the present study, are discussed.
|Commitee:||Cho, Young-Hee, Amirkhan, James|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/4(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Behavioral psychology|
|Keywords:||Avoidance coping, Collectivism, Coping, Culture, Gender, Korean immigrants|
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