Ethnic-Racial Socialization, Ethnic-Racial Identity, and Depressive Symptoms in Korean Adolescents in the United States and China




Shen, Yishan
Lee, Hyunkyung
Choi, Yoonsun
Hu, Yueqin
Kim, Kihyun

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The United States and China are top two receiving countries of Korean immigrants in modern history. Minority families in ethnically-racially diverse societies, such as the US and China, use various ethnic-racial socialization practices (cultural socialization, promotion of mistrust, preparation for bias) to help their children navigate the world, yet research in non-U.S. contexts is scarce. To examine the specificity versus generalizability of ethnic-racial socialization and its implications, this study compared the prevalence of ethnic-racial socialization reported by Korean American (n = 408; Mage = 14.76, SD = 1.91; 48.30% female) and Korean Chinese (n = 267; Mage = 15.24, SD = 1.66; 58.90% female) youth. Moreover, this study examined how various ethnic-racial socialization practices relate to the youth's ethnic-racial identity, and subsequently, depressive symptoms. Although Korean American youth reported more frequent ethnic-racial socialization compared to their Korean Chinese counterparts, cultural socialization (but not preparation for bias nor promotion of mistrust) had a comparable negative indirect association with depressive symptoms via ethnic-racial identity across both groups. Thus, although the rates of parental ethnic-racial socialization are context-specific, parental cultural socialization may be similarly beneficial for Korean ethnic-racial minority youth's identity development, and in turn, psychological outcomes, whether in a Western individualistic society or an Eastern collectivistic society.



adolescents, depressive symptoms, ethnic-racial identity, ethnic-racial socialization, Korean, Family and Consumer Sciences


Shen, Y., Lee, H., Choi, Y., Hu, Y., & Kim, K. (2021). Ethnic-racial socialization, ethnic-racial identity, and depressive symptoms in Korean adolescents in the United States and China. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.


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