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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 8 , No. 3

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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 8, No. 3, pp.30-67
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jul 2018
Received 14 Feb 2018 Revised 15 Jun 2018 Accepted 10 Jul 2018

Employment Status Matters: Differential Patterns of Female Marriage Migrants’ Support Service Usage
Kyung-Eun Yang
Sungkonghoe University, South Korea

Funding Information ▼


This study examined factors that determine immigrant women’s service usage, using Gelberg-Andersen’s Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations as a conceptual framework. Considering that the degree to which female marriage migrants take advantage of support services varies considerably within the group, special analytic attention was given to possible differences in service utilization patterns depending on their employment status. The study utilized “National Survey on Multicultural Families” data set from 2009. Among the total 154,333 individuals, the study used a sub-sample of 53,155 female marriage migrants. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine possible differences in service utilization in relations to employment status. The relationship between the two support services (adjustment assistance services and family care services) was examined. In addition, the three domains of factors that jointly explain the use of services among female marriage migrants were explored. The study found that female marriage migrants have different needs depending on their employment status. In terms of adjustment assistance service use determinants, the strongest predictor was having Joseonjok (Korean-Chinese) ethnicity for both the employed and unemployed group. When predicting the family care service use, number of children turned out to be the strongest predictor for the employed group, whereas perceived needs turned out as the strongest predictor for the unemployed group. Findings from the study may provide useful implications for the development of social work services and/or service delivery systems that are tailored to the different needs of immigrant women based on their positions within the labor market.

Keywords: female marriage migrants, support service utilization, employment status, Gelberg–Andersen’s Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations


This paper evolved from a part of the author’s doctoral dissertation and was supported by a grant awarded to the Center for SSK Multicultural Research (CSMR) from the National Research Foundation of Korea

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Appendix 1

Table 6. 
Operational Definition of Variables
Variable (variable name) Variable type Definition
Predispositional factors
Adjustment assistance service usage Dichotomous 0 = not having AAS service usage experience
1 = having AAS service usage experience
Family care assistance service usage Dichotomous 0 = not having service usage experience
1 = having FCS service usage experience
Ethnicity dummies Pob1 - 5 Dummy Pob1 = having Joseonjok ethnicity
Pob2 = having Mainland Chinese and Han
Chinese ethnicity
Pob3 = having Vietnamese ethnicity
Pob4 = having Philippines ethnicity
Pob5 = having ethnicities other than Joseonkok,
Chinese, Vietnamese and Philippines(reference group)
Length of residence Continuous Total length residence measured in months
Region of residence Dichotomous 0 = Living in rural areas
1 = Living in urban areas
Number of children Continuous Total number of children
Enabling factors
Education level 1 - 4 Dummy Edu1 = less than middle school graduate
(reference group)
Edu2 = high school graduate
Edu3 = college graduate
Edu4 = graduate school graduate
Internet usage Dichotomous 0 = not using internet
1 = using internet
Korean language proficiency level Continuous Total score of Korean speaking, reading and writing
Household’s monthly income Ordinal 1 = Very unsatisfied
2 = Not satisfied
3 = Moderate
4 = Satisfied
5 = Very satisfied
NBLS status Dichotomous 0 = not being the recipient of NBLS
Relationship with husband Ordinal 1 = Less than 500 thousand Korean won
2 = 500 thousand ~7 million Korean won
3 = 1~2 million Korean won
4 = 2~3 million Korean won
5 = 3~4 million Korean won
6 = 4~5 million Korean won
7 = 5~6 million Korean won
8 = 6~7 million Korean won
Existence of Korean friends Dichotomous 0 = Having no friends
1 = Having more than one Korean friend
Existence of friends from home country Dichotomous 0 = Having no friends
1 = Having more than one friend from home country
Existence of friends from other countries Dichotomous 0 = Having no friends
1 = Having more than one friend from other countries
Perceived needs factors
Perceived needs for AAS Ordinal 1 = Not needed at all
2 = Not needed
3 = Moderate
4 = Needed
5 = Very needed
Perceived needs for FCS Ordinal 1 = Not needed at all
2 = Not needed
3 = Moderate
4 = Needed
5 = Very needed

Table 7. 
Change between the Equal Constrained Model & the Equality Unconstrained Model
∆x2 ∆df p-value
Age → AAS 2.233 1 0.135
Pob1→ AAS 35.942 1 0.000
Pob2→ AAS 149.356 1 0.000
Pob3→ AAS 5.168 1 0.023
Pob4→ AAS 23.541 1 0.000
Length of residence → AAS 15.439 1 0.000
Region of residence → AAS 26.488 1 0.000
Number of children → AAS 44.291 1 0.000
Education → AAS 0.383 1 0.534
Internet → AAS 1.667 1 0.197
Korean language proficiency → AAS 21.275 1 0.000
Household’s monthly income → AAS 11.749 1 0.001
NBLS → AAS 0.899 1 0.343
Relationship with husband → AAS 0.499 1 0.480
Friends from home country → AAS 0.011 1 0.917
Friends from elsewhere countries → AAS 5.643 1 0.018
Perceived needs for AAS → AAS 39.001 1 0.000
Perceived needs for Family care services → AAS 0.184 1 0.668
Age → Family care service usage (FCS) 7.758 1 0.005
Pob1 → FCS 35.962 1 0.000
Pob2 → FCS 0.486 1 0.485
Pob3 → FCS 2.374 1 0.123
Pob4 → FCS 0.414 1 0.520
Length of residence → FCS 14.751 1 0.000
Region of residence → FCS 20.529 1 0.000
Number of children → FCS 3.916 1 0.047
Internet → FCS 0.201 1 0.654
Korean language proficiency → FCS 7.409 1 0.008
Household’s monthly income → FCS 3.947 1 0.047
NBLS status → FCS 0.793 1 0.373
Relationship with husband → FCS 0.040 1 0.841
Friends from home country → FCS 0.990 1 0.320
Friends from different countries → FCS 0.189 1 0.664
Perceived needs for AAS → FCS 0.491 1 0.483
Perceived needs for FCS → FCS 26.76 1 0.000
p < .001***
p < 0.01**
p < .05*

Biographical Note

Kyung-Eun Yang received her Ph.D. from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. She is currently an assistant professor at Yeollim Academy of Liberal Arts, Sungkonghoe University. She has published on the causes and consequences of social and economic inequalities associated with race/ethnicity and gender issues as well as effective approaches to reducing them. E-mail: (