Exploring the health experiences of Korean immigrant women in retirement

  • Author / Creator
    Choi, Jaeyoung
  • Immigrant women have many emotional, psychological, and/or cultural stressors that may influence their health. For some women, these stressors may only be present during the acculturation process, but for others they may continue throughout the remainder of their lives. Focused ethnography, as described by Otterbein (1977), was used to explore the health experiences of Korean immigrant women following retirement in the context of employment. The bi-dimensional acculturation model introduced and developed by Berry (1980, 1997) provided the conceptual framework for the study. Fifteen women over the age of 50 years were interviewed. Morse’s cognitive processes of analysis (1994) were used to analyze the interviews. The findings were interpreted and recontextualized in the context of relevant knowledge regarding the influence of employment and retirement on health. Findings revealed that Korean immigrant women came to Canada to provide their children with a better future and to help their adult children with their businesses. The participants received support from family, government, and the church. Most of the participants struggled to adjust to Canadian society due to a variety of reasons, including poor English skills, transportation, and finances. However, they gradually learned the new culture and integrated into Canadian society through various methods, including improving their English abilities, acquiring jobs, or being involved in church activities. Women believed that their health was impacted by work; after retirement, their physical health stayed the same or worsened, but their mental health improved. Most of the women had more than one health issue, and exercise and spiritual faith helped them maintain and/or improve their health. A paper format was chosen for the dissertation, and it includes an introduction, three publishable papers, and a conclusion. The first paper discusses the translation process and some of the challenges regarding the translation of interviews. Korean women’s immigrant experiences following their immigration to Canada are described in the second paper. In the third paper, the health experiences of Korean immigrant women following retirement in the context of employment are explored. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for nursing and the recommendations for further research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.