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J Nurs Acad Soc. 1993 Jun;23(2):299-315. Korean. Original Article.
Lee SW .

Koreans are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in America. Stress responses and stressors among this large cultural minority has been rarely been studied by nursing researeliers. Adjusting to life in foreign country produces a great deal of stress. Differences in culture, language, expectations and social behavior can lead to misunderstandings between health care providers and clients. These misunderstandings are not well accounted for in health assessment. This study investigated the relationship between life events or/and daily activities as a stressor and the symptoms of stress among a sample of Korean immigrants in America. The symptoms of stress scale (SOS) was used to identify stress responses and open ended questions were used to identify life events and daily activities considered by the respondents to be stressful. A simple random sample of 283 subjects was selected from the Directory of the Korean Society of Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Seattle. Demographically, the subjects ranged in age from 20 to 69 years, and the percentage of women and men was approximately 50% each. Almost ninety percent of the subjects were highly educated, 17% owners of business, 19% white collar professionals, 14% employed in sales or as skilled/unskilled labor, 27% as housewives and students and 3% had no occupation. The total group SOS mean was 0.8042; the SOS men for man was 0.7371, and for women was 0.8713. The stress response of this subject group was high, -the stress response of women higher than that for men. In an earlier study (June, 1992) with another sample, the total mean SOS score was similar to this one. The main stressful life events or/and daily activities were, in order, economic problems (N?7), interpersonal problems (N=68), children care problems (N=258), health problems (N=49), communication problems (N=42), family problems (N=38), worry about future career (N=36), and religious problems (N=25). There was a significant difference in the SOS means between the group that expressed life events or/and daily activities to be stressful and the group that did not. Interpersonal relationships and economic and family problems were stressors for those who complained about peripheral manifestations, cardiopulmonary symptoms, central-neurological symptoms, gastro intestinal symptoms, muscle tension, habitual patterns, depression, anxiety, emotional irritability and cognitive disorganization. In summary, interpersonal relationships and economic and family problems influenced stress response manifestations. Income, the number of people in the family, the year of immigration, the level of edu cation, and marital status were related to physiologi cal and psychosocial stress responses.

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