SURF

Jae Won “Jake” Sim

Intergenerational Trauma and Cultural (Re)Connection in Korean-American Young Adults

Past research shows an alarming phenomenon in which Asian-American young adults are suffering uniquely high suicide rates and risk of deadly mental health complications. In disaggregating that data more specifically with Korean Americans (KA), evidence suggests that there may be even more risk due to cultural, societal, and political issues in both Korea and in the US, past and present. In my research, I look into the question of what leads to such high suicide rates in KA young men. Specifically, I will utilize in depth interviews with 20 participants in convenience and snowball sampling to examine the role of intergenerational trauma and cultural (re)connection in mental health complications among 1.5 and 2nd generation KA young adult males and how connecting to culture, roots and heritage can provide a path to care. I hope to deepen culturally specific understanding of KA young male mental health to aid in coping with their unique predicaments.

Message to Sponsor

SURF has been a huge help in allowing me to gain real progress in doing my own research that I get to determine and carry out with my design and get the opportunity to have my own project. SURF gave me the time, opportunity, and resources with the team and mentorship to make my thesis a reality. I was able to really delve into my academic interests and develop my project and my thoughts as well as gain the experience of designing and conducting interviews. This has taught me so much about how to learn and talk about subjects and develop knowledge that can contribute to society.
  • Major: Ethnic Studies
  • Sponsor: Pergo Fund
  • Mentor: Carolyn Chen