Abstract: (Withdrawn) Impact of Community Support on Resilience Among Korean American Older Adults during COVID-19 (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

347P (Withdrawn) Impact of Community Support on Resilience Among Korean American Older Adults during COVID-19

Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Eunhye Kim, Assistant Professor, Augusta University, Augusta, GA
Hyesu Yeo, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Background: The purpose of this study is how resilience and perceived discrimination influence use of community support services among Korean American older adults during a pandemic. Minority older adults are a vulnerable population with regard to mortality rates of aging-related disease and morbidity. Resilience is a surviving skill for older adults during life challenging situations and associated with successful aging. Optimized resilience is associated with friend and family network, financial resources, healthy life styles, and community engagement. Chronic perceived racial discrimination and structural discrimination perpetrated in their life prevent ethnic minority populations to seek help or use services provided by public organizations. In this regard, ethnic communities play a significant role in supporting older adults by networking and providing resources during a health crisis. Korean American older adults prefer to maintain their ethnic traditions and use community services provided by their same ethnicity. However, despite its importance to this ethnic group, there are limited studies on the roles of the ethnic community organizations for older adults during COVID-19 and what factors are associated with using ethnic community organizations for Korean American older adults.

Methods: The data was a cross-sectional survey collected between June and November 2021. The participants were 132 first-generation Korean American older adults aged 50 or older who resided in the U.S. The dependent variable was support of the Korean community, which was about if the participant experienced receiving support from Korean community organizations, (e.g., the Korean American Association or the Korean American Senior Association), since the pandemic. The independent variables included resilience measured by K-CD-RISC-10 and discrimination, as well as whether their perception of the level of discrimination changed since the pandemic. The covariates consisted of age, marital status, educational attainment, self-rated health, and years of residence in the U.S. A linear regression analysis was performed to examine the relationship between the support of the Korean community and the participants' resilience and increase in perceived discrimination.

Results: The participants’ average age was 63; most were women (66%), married (81%), and had a college or higher degree (64%); they had lived about 29 years in the U.S. Support of the Korean community was associated with resilience, discrimination, and health [p <.05]. Receiving more support from Korean community organizations was related to lower levels of resilience [b = -.02], lower perception of discrimination [b = -.35], and better health status [b = .21].

Conclusions and Implications: Korean American older adults with a low level of resilience and low level of perceived discrimination are more likely to use ethnic community organizations to seek help during a health crisis. Due to limited services, healthy older adults are more likely to access Korean community organizations than Korean older adults with a lower level of perceived health. Study results emphasized that community organizations should expand their services to target vulnerable populations within their ethnic group. These findings indicate the importance of multicultural competence and the impact of Korean American organizations to support ethnic minority populations as an effective strategy during the health crisis.