Kyung Wha So


The present study examined the associations among perceived stress, religious coping styles (Self-Directing, Collaborative, and Deferring), and collectivism in two generations of Korean-Americans. Three scales (Perceived Stress, Collectivism, and Religious Problem Solving) were administered to 145 first and second generation Korean-Americans who were attending Christian worship services, residing in the East and West Coasts of United States. Three hypotheses were tested. First, religious coping styles and collectivism would predict perceived stress levels. Second, Collectivism, Collaborative, and Deferring religious coping would be negatively correlated with the level of perceived stress. Third, the second generation Korean-Americans would have lower collectivism scores, higher Self-Directing scores and a higher perceived stress level than the first generation Korean-Americans.

The results indicated that the first and the second generations had nearly identical scores on Collectivism. Consequently, the analysis showed that there were no differences on perceived stress between the first and the second generations, indicating that neither religious coping styles nor collectivism predicted their levels of stress. The study found that second generation Korean-Americans who embrace their ethnic identities by attending the Korean ethnic church are not less collectivistic than the first generation Korean-Americans. The results suggested that people living in an individualistic society, practicing individualistic religious coping styles (more self-directing and less deferring), are not necessarily less collectivistic and will not necessarily have a higher level of perceived stress. Further research in the non-church involved second generation Korean Americans was suggested.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Louis Jenkins

Second Advisor

Kelly Morton

Third Advisor

Matt Riggs

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Stress, Psychological -- prevention and control; Stress (psychology) -- religious aspects -- Christianity; Stress (psychology) -- prevention; Stress Management -- Korean-Americans; Collectivism



Page Count

x; 53

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives