Physical Changes in and Coping with Marriage by Immigrant Women at an Early Stage of Immigration

이주초기에 나타나는 결혼 이주여성의 신체변화와 대처

  • Kim, Hee-Ja (Department of Nursing, Korea National University of Transportation) ;
  • Kim, Hyun-Sook (Department of Social Welfare, Korea National University of Transportation) ;
  • Jeon, Mi-Yang (College of Nursing, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Lee, Hyo-Jeong (Department of Physical Therapy, Korea National University of Transportation) ;
  • Park, Eun Young (College of Nursing, Gachon University)
  • 김희자 (한국교통대학교 간호학과) ;
  • 김현숙 (한국교통대학교 사회복지학과) ;
  • 전미양 (경상대학교 간호학과) ;
  • 이효정 (한국교통대학교 물리치료학과) ;
  • 박은영 (가천대학교 간호학과)
  • Received : 2014.04.24
  • Accepted : 2014.06.25
  • Published : 2014.08.31


Purpose: To provide an in-depth analysis of the physical changes in and marital experiences of immigrant women in Korea, considering the differences in their cultural backgrounds. Methods: A qualitative research methodology with a phenomenology perspective was used. Data were collected through interviews from four focus groups and through in-depth interviews from five individuals. Data analysis was carried out using Colaizzi's phenomenological analysis method. Results: Twenty-four participants from nine different nations were interviewed. Three phenomenological theme clusters were identified and six sub-themes were derived. These comprise: "emergence of physical changes", "experienced symptom with negative result", and "coping with my body". The derived themes comprise: "struggling for my body to survive", "changed body after pregnancy and delivery", "diagnosed as normal but", "neglected my health", "using familiar care", and "unfamiliar health service system". Conclusion: Immigrant women by marriage in Korea are new subjects of nursing care. Their physical changes and experiences in coping with marriage at an early stage of immigration as described by themselves provide valuable information for nursing professionals. Cultural differences, problems specific to women, and our social conditions regarding minorities and our patriarchal tradition that discriminates against women affect their health problems. We strongly recommend that nurses should actively determine and engage in the health problems of immigrant women.


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