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.