Chung Hyeon Jeong
Chung Hyeon Jeong, Ph.D. is a newly joined Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholar at the Department of Social Work. His research has focused on identifying socio-cultural determinants of health/healthcare among vulnerable populations including immigrants. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Southern California, where he studied distinct cultural and contextual factors (e.g. social networks) related to healthcare access among Asian Americans.
Please describe your research project in nontechnical language.
My research has identified sociocultural determinants of health/healthcare disparities among racial/ethnic minorities, especially immigrant populations. I am particularly interested in the effects of cultural factors (i.e., knowledge, information, values, and norms regrading health-related behaviors) and social factors (i.e. interpersonal support from social networks) on health-promoting behaviors and healthcare-related behaviors among immigrants and refugees.
Why is this research important? In other words, why should people outside the scientific or academic community care?
Cultural resources and social networks among immigrants strongly influence their health/healthcare-related behaviors, which consequently yield inequalities in health status. More attention should be paid to enhance the health-related cultural and social capitals among the socially and culturally disadvantaged populations.
What are the most interesting research findings from your work so far?
As an ethnic subgroup among Asian Americans, Korean immigrants have shown distinct characteristics in terms of health coverage and health service use in the U.S. healthcare system. My research revealed that their pre-migration healthcare experience in South Korea and unique dynamics within their co-ethnic social networks created a specific form of (mostly negative) perceptions of the U.S. health care system and maladaptive behavioral patterns in health service utilization..
Where does this fit into a larger area of research?
My research is largely related to health education and health policies for racial/ethnic minorities.