Resilience Perceived by Korean International Student/Scholar Families in the United States: Family Demands, Capabilities, and Adaptation

Lee, Jinhee;Danes, Sharon M.

  • Received : 2015.02.15
  • Accepted : 2015.05.20
  • Published : 2015.06.30


Although Korean international students/scholars are among the largest groups of international students/scholars on most campuses in the United States, little is known about what types of demands their families face and how they adapt successfully in the face of demands. The purpose of this study was to explore family resilience, which consists of family demands, capabilities, and adaptation, perceived by Korean international student/scholar families, being theoretically guided by the Family Adjustment and Adaptation Response (FAAR) model. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with couple informants. Following procedures of theory-based content analysis, data were analyzed using key FAAR concepts. Findings showed that most informants reported normative types of family demands such as hardships due to childcare; primary family capabilities were "maintaining social integration," "affective and instrumental communication," and "family cohesiveness," and "nurturance, education, and socialization" was the primary family adaptation mode. New categories under family capabilities, "religious commitment" and "transnational family support" were developed. The results suggest that there is a unique set of family capabilities that contribute to the successful adaptation of Korean international student/scholar families. Implications and limitations are discussed.


family resilience;Korean international students;Korean families;FAAR model;content analysis;family adaptation;U.S.


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