The moderating role of neighborhood social cohesion in the mediation effects of the loneliness between acculturation stress and post-traumatic growth among female North Korean defectors

Hokon Kim, Ocksim Kim, Kyoung A. Kim, Sang Hui Chu, Misook L. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Loneliness negatively predicts post-traumatic growth (PTG) among North Korean defectors (NKD), one of the representative groups of refugees. Additionally, evidence also suggests that females, who account for 70% of NKDs entering South Korea, are vulnerable not only to past trauma but also to the current acculturation stress and loneliness affected by neighborhood social cohesion. This study explores whether the mediating effect of loneliness on the relationship between acculturation stress and PTG was moderated by the neighborhood social cohesion among female NKDs. In this study, the data of 166 female NKDs who completed an online survey regarding acculturation stress, PTG, loneliness, and neighborhood social cohesion were used. Moderated mediation analysis was conducted using SPSS PROCESS macro program. Loneliness was associated with PTG (B = − 1.896, p < 0.001), and mediated the association between acculturation stress and PTG (indirect effect = − 0.278, 95% LLCI − 0.403, 95% ULCI − 0.166). Neighborhood social cohesion moderated the mediation effect of loneliness on the association between acculturation stress and PTG (B = − 0.016, 95% LLCI 0.001, 95% ULCI 0.035). The indirect effect of acculturation stress on PTG through loneliness was notably high for those with low neighborhood social cohesion. Therefore, increasing neighborhood social cohesion would reduce loneliness caused by acculturation stress and support the positive growth among female NKDs. This represents the most effective approach to aiding female NKDs in achieving growth, even after suffering trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16965
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

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© 2023, Springer Nature Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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