Social network effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in female North Korean immigrants

Byungkyu Lee, Yoosik Youm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The goal of this paper is to examine the social network effects on post-traumatic sdress disorder (PTSD) in female North Korean immigrants who entered South Korea in 2007. Specifically, it attempts to verify if the density and composition of networks make a difference after controlling for the network size. Methods: A multivariate logistic regression is used to probe the effects of social networks using the North Korean Immigrant Panel data set. Because the data set had only completed its initial survey when this paper was written, the analysis was cross-sectional. Results: The size of the support networks was systematically related to PTSD. Female North Korean immigrants with more supporting ties were less likely to develop PTSD, even after controlling for other risk factors (odds-ratio for one more tie was 0.8). However, once we control for the size of the network, neither the density nor the composition of the networks remains statistically significant. Conclusions: The prevalence of the PTSD among female North Korean immigrants is alarmingly high, and regardless of the characteristics of supporting network members, the size of the supporting networks provides substantial protection. This implies that a simple strategy that focuses on increasing the number of supporting ties will be effective among North Korean immigrants who entered South Korea in recent years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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