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Health-Promoting Behaviors of Elderly Korean Immigrants in the United States


  • Kyeong-Yae Sohng R.N., Ph.D.,

  • Sue Sohng M.S.W., Ph.D., and,

  • Hye-A Yeom R.N., M.S.

Kyeong-Yae Sohng* is Associate Profe300ssor, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, South Korea. Sue Sohng is Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Hye-A Yeom is a Doctoral Student, College of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
*   Note: When this study was conducted, Kyeong Yae Sohng was a visiting scholar of University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, Washington.
Address correspondence to Kyeong-Yae Sohng, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-Dong, Socho-Gu, Seoul, 137–701, South Korea. E-mail:


The purpose of this study was to explore health-promoting behaviors among elderly Korean immigrants, and to examine the relationships of their health-promoting behaviors with self-efficacy and perceived health status. One hundred ten elderly Korean immigrants residing in the United States were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The mean score of health promoting behaviors of elderly Korean immigrants was 2.54 on the 5-point Likert scale. Nutrition was the subdomain with the highest mean score (M=3.01) and exercise was the subdomain with the lowest mean score (M=1.92). Both self-efficacy (r=0.49, p=0.01) and perceived health status (r=0.19, p=0.043) were significantly related to health-promoting behaviors. Education (F=3.61, p=0.016) and economic status (F=3.01, p=0.034) were significantly associated with health-promoting behaviors. This study showed poor practices of healthy lifestyles of elderly Korean immigrants. Low exercise scores indicated the need for community based exercise and health promotion programs for the elderly Korean immigrants population.