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The Mental Health of Ethnic Minority Youths in South Korea and Its Related Environmental Factors: A Literature Review
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2019; 30(3): 88-99
Published online July 1, 2019
© 2019 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Yeeun Lee, Minji Lee, and Subin Park

Clinical Research Center, Mental Health Research Institute, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Subin Park, Clinical Research Center, Mental Health Research Institute, National Center for Mental Health, 127 Yongmasanro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 04933, Korea
Tel: +82-2-2204-0108, Fax: +82-2-2204-0280, E-mail:
Received May 31, 2019; Revised June 17, 2019; Accepted June 18, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: With increasing concerns for the rapidly growing minority population in South Korea, this literature review addressed a range of mental health risks among multiethnic youths (MY) in South Korea by 1) comparing mental health outcomes with those of native-born youths and 2) identifying multiple layers of relevant environmental factors, from family and school relationships to culture.
Methods: We reviewed 54 studies that fulfilled specific inclusion criteria.
Results: Multiple common risk/protective factors, including family separation, family relationship quality, parental socioeconomic and mental health status, social relationships at school, and cultural acceptance, were noted.
Conclusions: In general, empirical evidence indicates that minority youths have relatively heightened risks for emotional and behavioral problems. Future studies must elucidate the complex interplay between multiple risk and protective factors and the long-term adaptation and mental health service utilization of MY.
Keywords : Ethnic minority youth; Mental health; Minority health; Adjustment.

July 2019, 30 (3)
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