Social Support and COVID-19 Stress Among Immigrants in South Korea

Souhyun Jang, Paul Youngbin Kim, Min Sun Kim, Hoyoun Koh, Kyungmin Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals have been under more stress since the COVID-19 pandemic began than they were before the pandemic. While social support is a known stress buffer among the general population, its impact on stress among vulnerable populations, such as immigrants and those living in rural areas, has received little attention in the context of South Korea. Accordingly, we examined the relationship between different types of social support and COVID-19 stress among young adult immigrants based on where they live (rural vs. urban). We conducted a survey of 300 young adult immigrants aged 25–34 years and analyzed the results. The dependent variable was COVID-19 stress, and the independent variables were four types of social support: emotional, appraisal, instrumental, and informational. We discovered that young adult immigrants in rural areas perceived higher-level social support in all aspects compared with those in urban areas. Furthermore, social support was not related to COVID-19 stress in urban areas, while appraisal support was positively and informational support was negatively related to COVID-19 stress in rural areas. Our findings suggest that a contextualized understanding of social support is critical to understanding COVID-related stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Journal for Public Opinion Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • COVID-19 stress
  • immigrants
  • social support
  • South Korea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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