Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology - Early View Articles, Pages ${blockparams.parentJournalIssue.pageRange}

Stress and support: The dual role of the migrant community in the acculturation of Korean migrant families in Australia

Abstract Despite recent exploration of diverse acculturation experiences, there is still limited understanding of the specific acculturation features of the migrant experience. To address this gap, the current study aimed to explore subjective acculturation experiences of Korean migrant families by focusing on the contexts of home country, migrant community, and marital relationship. Twenty‐three married South Korean migrants with young children participated in four focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to identify major themes from the discussion. Participants reported that, contrary to a stressful life in Korea, they developed premigration expectations regarding a relaxed life in Australia. However, once the participants became involved in the Korean migrant community in Australia, their expectations were mismatched by recreating their previous stressful lives in the new country. The Korean migrant community was helpful in participants' adaptation but also unhelpful in handling acculturation issues of mismatched expectations and parental stress. The study also found that although some postmigration marital conflicts arose, marital communication in the relationship may have a protective role in solving migrants' difficulties. These findings highlight the need for enhancing the traditional acculturation framework with other theoretical frameworks to capture both general and specific acculturation features of the migrant experience.

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