Pathway to Health Literacy in Korean American Immigrants: The Mediating Role of English Proficiency

Hee Yun Lee, Jeong Kyun Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated predictors of and pathways to health literacy among Korean American immigrants residing in New York City (n = 407). Social Cognitive Theory guided the study and the Chew et al. 16-item health literacy screening scale was employed. Structural equation modeling using Mplus 4.21 tested the proposed conceptual model. Findings revealed that education and English proficiency were the most influential predictors of health literacy; education was directly associated with health literacy and indirectly through language proficiency. Predictors of greater English proficiency included higher levels of education, younger age, and unmarried status. The findings suggest that immigrants with minimal English abilities, little education, and no health insurance have particular intervention needs, perhaps best met by a patient-centered approach focusing on individual language needs and cultural health beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

Keywords

  • Health literacy
  • Korean American immigrants
  • health disparity
  • patient-centered practice
  • underserved immigrants

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