Current Health, Acculturation, Social Support for Physical Activity, Self-Efficacy for Physical Activity, and Lifestyle Physical Activity among Korean Immigrant Couples Working at Cleaners

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Sukyung Ju, MS
JoEllen Wilbur, RN, PhD, FAAN
College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Learning Objective 1: understand current health and lifestyle physical activity in self-employed Korean immigrant married couples working at cleaners.

Learning Objective 2: learn about the lifestyle physical activity measures (objective and self-report).

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe and compare current health, acculturation, social support for physical activity, self-efficacy for physical activity, and lifestyle physical activity in self-employed Korean immigrant married couples working at cleaners. To date, studies that have assessed the physical activity of Korean Americans have been at the individual level, not in couples. Spouse’s social support might be one of the most important determinants of physical activity, particularly immigrant women, because most immigrants have experienced the loss of old social connections.

Methods: The design was a cross-sectional, descriptive, face-to-face interview survey. The participants were recruited from the membership list of Korean American Drycleaners Association of Greater Chicago (KADAC) and social networking. Measures included: current health (depressive symptoms [CES-D], self-reported health status [BRFSS]), acculturation (VIA), modified Sallis social support received and provided for physical activity, McAuley’s confidence in overcoming barriers to physical activity, and physical activity (pedometer [steps for seven day], self-report CHAMPS).

Results: Data are available on  32 couples with a mean age of 57.5 for husbands and 53.7 for women. They work on average 64 hours/week. Depressive symptoms (13.2 vs 9.1) and percent with self-reported health poor/fair health (62.5% versus 21.9%) were higher for wives than husbands. Both had high Korean and low American acculturation.  Although average daily pedometer steps were slightly higher for husbands than wives (8792 vs. 7999), wives reported less time spent in leisure activities such as walking and golf. Conclusion: Attention needs to be given to the discrepancy between Korean husband’s and wives health and the limited opportunity for leisure time pursuits in self-employed Korean couples.