Correlates of resilience in the face of adversity for Korean women immigrating to the US

Hei Sung Lee, Stephen L. Brown, Mary M. Mitchell, Glenn R. Schiraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives: To explore the association between resilience and psychosocial variables of theoretical relevance such as self-esteem, optimism, religiousness, cultural interdependency, and belief in higher education in a population of elderly Korean women and their daughters who experienced great adversity. Methods: Surveys were conducted with 200 elderly Korean women and 170 of their daughters in several community locations. Results: Both mothers and daughters experienced great adversities in their lives such as psychological and physical losses from war as well as current and past difficulties with relocation. The mothers' bivariate correlations indicate that self-esteem, optimism, religiousness, and cultural interdependency were significantly correlated with resilience. Length of time in the US, age entering the US, physical and psychological war-related adversities, current relocation difficulties, self-esteem, optimism, cultural interdependency, and belief in education were all significantly associated with daughters' resilience. In linear regression, self-esteem and optimism were significant predictors of resilience in both mothers and daughters. Conclusions: Self-esteem and optimism deserve further attention as psychological factors that may increase the likelihood of developing resilience. Implications of these findings for health professionals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Korean women
  • Optimism
  • Resilience
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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