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Experience of Adaptation to School Life in South Korea of North Korean Defector Youths: Based on Focus Group Research Method
Stress 2018;26:149-158
Published online September 30, 2018
© 2018 Korean Society of Stress Medicine.

Young Suk Park

Department of Nursing, Korea National Open University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Young Suk Park
Department of Nursing, Korea National Open University, 86 Dahakro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03087, Korea
Tel: +82-2-3668-4746
Fax: +82-2-3673-4274
Received August 3, 2018; Revised August 14, 2018; Accepted August 23, 2018.
Articles published in stress are open-access, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: This study is a qualitative research conducted to identify the core theme and essence of the North Korean defector youths by intensively exploring the experience of adapting to school life in South Korea.
Methods: The participants were 11 young people of 20∼25 year olds who had attended middle and high school in South Korea. The data was collected through focus group interviews and analyzed by content analysis.
Results: The results found 5 clusters of theme, 14 themes, 34 categories. The 5 clusters of theme were ‘Astonishment in a new country’, ‘Hard to bear existential pain’, ‘Desperate struggles to survive’, ‘Two-facedness of support inside and outside of school’, ‘Unfinished burden of reality’.
Conclusions: This research suggest that practical ways to help the youths such as authentic approaches, necessary information and material support, support for making friends and friendship, providing college admission information and support, parent training and mentoring.
Keywords : North Korean defector youths, School adaptation, Qualitative research, Focus-group interview

September 2018, 26 (3)

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