Rethinking Utilization of Integration Service among Immigrant Wives in Korea: focusing on Service Users' Perspective

Despite the increasing number of immigrant wives who have immigrated to Korea to marry Korean men, little is known about integration service utilization regarding this population.  Therefore, this article investigates factors that influence the utilization pattern of integration services among immigrant wives confronting myriads of problems related to adaptation to Korea.  The study analyzed data (N = 1,063) from the Marriage-Based Immigrants and Their Families in Korea: Current Status and Policy Measures conducted by the Minister of Health & Welfare in 2006.
This paper used hierarchical logistic regression analysis method based upon a modified Andersen behavioral model which categorized independent variables in need, enabling, and predisposing domains. The study found both the need of service users toward integration service and enabling factors were much more significantly explainable compared to predisposing factors. Thus, immigrant wives accessed integration service when having needs toward Korean culture and conflicts with their husbands. Also, they used the service when meeting financial difficulty and insufficient social networks in Korea. However, such utilization pattern of integration service among immigrant wives was different from their ethnic backgrounds.
These findings suggested that the government should conduct need assessment research as a prerequisite condition for service provision. Additionally, the government needs to develop mandatory Korean language class, as well as encouraging compulsory counselling for their families. More effort needs to be done on promoting advertisement activities so that the immigrant wives have more accessibility to immigrant services. As for the service organizations in the front line, social workers need to consider flexible service provision according to ethnic backgrounds. It is believed that the suggestions encourage immigrant wives to access integration service; moreover, the Korean societies' uncertainty related to integration of these women is reduced via the improved accessibility to integration service.

Full paper download: 3.2.2 MinChul Hwang.pdf