Association between Self-esteem and Health Behavior of the Children with Multi-cultural Family Background

다문화가정 초등학생의 자아존중감과 건강행위 간의 관련성

  • Yoo, Bit-Na (Cancer Education Research Department in National Cancer Center) ;
  • Park, Kyoung-Ok (Department of Health Education & Management in Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Choi, Jin-Young (Department of Elementary Education in Ewha Womans University)
  • 유빛나 (국립암센터 암정보교육과) ;
  • 박경옥 (이화여자대학교 보건관리학과) ;
  • 최진영 (이화여자대학교 초등교육과)
  • Received : 2010.01.27
  • Accepted : 2010.04.13
  • Published : 2010.06.30


Objectives: This study was conducted to identify the characteristics of health behavior and self-esteem and the relationship between the two factors among elementary school students with multi-cultural family background. Participants: Survey participants were 87 multi-cultural family children who lived in Seoul and Kyoungi areas and were registered in the local elementary schools. Methods: Data collection was conducted by face-to-face interview survey. Elementary education majored undergraduate students who participated in the education support program for multi-cultural family children in the Ministry of Education and Science and primary researcher of this study interviewed the target students and finished the survey questionnaire based on the students' responses. Survey included general characteristics, multi-cultural family characteristics, self-esteem, and (physical, mental, and social) health behavior. Results: 1. The self-esteem scores of the multi-cultural families children were greater in girl than boys among the children whose parents were graduated from college or more, and whose father had his job. The participants' health behavior scores were different by mothers' educational level. 2. The better they speak in English the greater the self-esteem scores. There was no statistical difference in health behavior scores by the participants' multi-cultural family background. 3. Self-esteem had moderate level correlation with health behavior (r= .56, p= .00) including all sub-categories of physical, mental, and social health. Conclusions: Positive self-esteem level is more sensitive to explain multi-cultural family children's health behaviors, which means that self-esteem is an important factor determining multi-cultural children's health behaviors and their health status in future. Therefore, more research to identify the factors related to health behaviors should be supported and the health promotion programs utilizing self-esteem should be developed for the child and youth with multi-cultural family backgrounds.