The Long Way to Refugee Status Acquisition and Mental Health in
Post-Migration: Based on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in South Korea
Myeong Sook Yoon1 & Israel Fisseha Feyissa1
& Eun Hye Jung
Apart from North Korean defectors, South Korea is becoming a destination for Asylum
seekers from all over the world. However, 1 out of 220 asylum applicants receives
recognition through long and arduous administration and litigation process while being
underrepresented in any kind of support services.
This particular study comparatively tested the mental health status of recognized
refugees(n = 45) and Asylum applicants (n = 55) to determine if the acquisition of refugee
status could make a difference in their overall quality of life. We first employed the
Depression, Anxiety and Stress Test and then applied an independent t-test using SPSS 22
As a result, there is a statistically significant difference in the mean scores of depression
and anxiety. However, the stress scale did not show a statistical significance–indicating
there are still lingering stressing factors even after the acquisition of refugee status. Ways
and preconditions to improve the mental health service for asylum seekers and refugees
are suggested at the end of the paper.
Keywords Post-migration . Refugee status acquisition . Mental health . Recognized refugees .