Social networks and health-promoting behaviors among North Korean refugees in South Korea

Chung Hyeon Jeong, Mee Young Um, Joan P. Yoo, Lawrence A. Palinkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Poor health behaviors among North Korean refugees (NKRs) in South Korea are serious risk factors hindering their overall well-being. Despite their significance, little is known about the roles of social networks in promoting health behaviors of NKRs. Thus, we examined how social network characteristics were associated with health-promoting behaviors among 202 NKRs. We found that social networks featuring members of religious organizations were positively associated with overall health-promoting behaviors, health responsibility, exercise, and nutrition, whereas networks with South Korean friends were negatively associated with nutrition. Findings suggest that health interventions facilitating religion-based network ties may promote health behaviors among NKRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-750
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Volume59
Issue number9-10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Health-promoting behaviors
  • North Korean refugees
  • South Korea
  • social networks
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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