Typology of religiosity/spirituality in relation to perceived health, depression, and life satisfaction among older Korean immigrants

Soonhee Roh, Yeon Shim Lee, Jae Hoon Lee, James I. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The objectives of this study were (1) to identify distinct subtypes of older Korean immigrants based on their levels of religiosity/spirituality (R/S) and (2) to determine if the identified subtypes differed by demographic characteristics, perceived health, depression, and life satisfaction.Method: Factor mixture models were evaluated with a nonprobability sample of older Korean immigrants (N = 200) residing in the New York City area in 2009 to classify typologies of R/S. Multiple regression was used to test the associations between the R/S subtypes and outcomes (perceived health, depression, and life satisfaction) while controlling for demographics.Results: Two substantively distinct latent profiles were identified: normally religious/spiritual (average R/S) and minimally religious/spiritual (low R/S). The average R/S subgroup (74.4%) showed higher means than those in the low R/S subgroup (25.6%) on all six R/S class indicators. Subtypes did not differ on age, education, income, marital status, living arrangements, or years in the USA. However, males were more likely than females to be average R/S. The average R/S subtype had significantly greater life satisfaction than their low R/S counterpart. No differences between the two subtypes were found on perceived health or depression.Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of the classifications of R/S for mental health outcomes, and they indicate that relationships among R/S, various demographic characteristics, and physical/mental health are complex. Future research should validate and refine this classification of R/S in order to help identify particular sources of health risks/behaviors, relevant treatments, and health-promoting interventions within homogenous subtypes of older Korean immigrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-453
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2014


  • Korean immigrants
  • aging
  • factor mixture model
  • life satisfaction
  • religiosity/spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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