Veronica L Irvin

National Institutes of Health, Maryland, United States

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Publications (39)65.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study examined relationships between social networks and immigration stress among first-generation Chinese immigrants. Using data from a larger study of health behavior among first-generation Mandarin/English-speaking immigrants residing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area (N = 1,183), this study found that Chinese immigrants living closer to immediate family and maintaining larger social networks experienced lower immigration stress. Unexpectedly, immigrants with larger family sizes and who participated in voluntary associations (e.g., religious, alumni, and nationality associations) reported increased immigration stress. The findings suggest that practitioners need to be cautious of a possible downside in designing interventions to expand social networks among immigrant clients. The study is especially important in the context of a rapidly increasing immigrant population from Mainland China to the USA.Key Practitioner Message: ● Working with immigration families should incorporate assessment of their social network; ● Interventions designed to facilitate supportive social networks should differentiate different social network ties; ● Different social network ties may affect the stress level of immigrants differently.
    International Journal of Social Welfare 07/2014; · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    Veronica L Irvin, Robert M Kaplan
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    ABSTRACT: The magnitude of the benefit associated with screening has been debated. We present a meta-analysis of quasi-experimental studies on the effects of mammography screening.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e98105. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Korean population in the US increased by a third between 2000 and 2010. Korean women in the US report low calcium intake and relatively high rate of fractures. However, little is known about the prevalence of osteoporosis among Korean American women. This paper examined the relationship between prevalence of osteoporosis and milk consumption, and their relationship with acculturation among a representative sample of immigrant California women of Korean descent. Bilingual telephone surveys were conducted from a probability sample (N = 590) in 2007. Lower acculturation significantly related to lower milk consumption for women during the age periods of 12-18 and 19-34 years. Acculturation was related to higher prevalence of osteoporosis among post-menopausal, but not pre-menopausal Korean women in California. Future research should include larger cohorts, objective measures of osteoporosis, other sources of calcium specific to Korean cuisine, and assessment of bone-loading physical activity.
    Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 01/2013; · 1.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This research examined the prevalence and correlates of intimate partner violence (IPV) among younger, middle-aged, and older Korean American women. Data were drawn from telephone interviews of a population-based, representative probability sample (N = 592) of female adults of Korean descent residing in California, with a completion rate of 70%. Data were grouped by age. In each group, psychological aggression was the most common type of IPV in the past year, followed by a moderate form of sexual coercion, while physical assault and injury were infrequent. Immigration stress was associated with psychological aggression in all three groups, and partner alcohol use was associated in none. Other predictors varied by group. Results suggest that psychological abuse is a serious issue, and that women's life stage is an important consideration in IPV among Korean Americans. Findings, which sometimes diverged from those of prior studies of this population, merit further investigation.
    Journal of Family Violence 11/2012; 27(8):801-811. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using data from a larger study, we explored the characteristics of preventive health care practices (influenza vaccination, mammogram, and Pap test) among a representative sample of 1,786 Korean American women residing in California by telephone. Three preventive health care practices were related to the goals set by Healthy People 2010. Participants with no education in the United States, who were born in Korea, resided in the United States longer, and had a primary care provider were more likely than others to reach these goals. Our findings indicate that a behavioral model was suitable to explain the three preventive health care practices.
    Health Care For Women International 05/2012; 33(5):422-39. · 0.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The South Korean (SK) government monopolizes the tobacco industry and is accused of pushing smoking on captive military personnel. However, estimating the association between military service and smoking is difficult, since military service is required for all SK men and the few civilian waivers are usually based on smoking determinants, e.g., social status. Using a quasi-experimental design we validly estimate the association between military service and smoking. Military service was assigned by immigration patterns to the United States, instead of an experimenter, by comparing Korean Americans who happened to immigrate before or after the age(s) of mandated service. Smoking promotion in the military was also described among SK veterans, to identify the probable mechanisms for veterans' smoking tendencies. Veterans were 15% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4 to 27] more likely to ever-puff and 10% (95% CI, 0 to 23) more likely to ever-smoke cigarettes, compared to a similar group of civilians. Among veterans, 92% (95% CI, 89 to 95) recalled cigarettes were free, 30% (95% CI, 25 to 35) recalled smokers were given more work breaks and 38% (95% CI, 32 to 43) felt explicit "social pressure" to smoke. Free cigarettes was the strongest mechanism for veterans' smoking tendencies, e.g., veterans recalling free cigarette distribution were 16% (95% CI, 1 to 37) more likely to ever-smoke than veterans not recalling. These patterns suggest military service is strongly associated with smoking, and differences between veterans and civilians smoking may carry over long after military service. Given military service remains entirely in government purview, actively changing military smoking policies may prove most efficacious. This highlights the importance of recent bans on military cigarette distribution, but policies eliminating other smoking encouragements described by veterans are necessary and could effectively reduce the smoking prevalence by as much as 10% in SK.
    Yonsei medical journal 03/2012; 53(2):433-8. · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immigration to a nation with a stronger anti-smoking environment has been hypothesized to make smoking less common. However, little is known about how environments influence risk of smoking across the lifecourse. Research suggested a linear decline in smoking over the lifecourse but these associations, in fact, might not be linear. This study assessed the possible nonlinear associations between age and smoking and examined how these associations differed by environment through comparing Koreans in Seoul, South Korea and Korean Americans in California, United States. Data were drawn from population based telephone surveys of Korean adults in Seoul (N=500) and California (N=2,830) from 2001-2002. Locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (lowess) was used to approximate the association between age and smoking with multivariable spline logistic regressions, including adjustment for confounds used to draw population inferences. Smoking differed across the lifecourse between Korean and Korean American men. The association between age and smoking peaked around 35 years among Korean and Korean American men. From 18 to 35 the probability of smoking was 57% higher (95%CI, 40 to 71) among Korean men versus 8% (95%CI, 3 to 19) higher among Korean American men. A similar difference in age after 35, from 40 to 57 years of age, was associated with a 2% (95%CI, 0 to 10) and 20% (95%CI, 16 to 25) lower probability of smoking among Korean and Korean American men. A nonlinear pattern was also observed among Korean American women. Social role transitions provide plausible explanations for the decline in smoking after 35. Investigators should be mindful of nonlinearities in age when attempting to understand tobacco use.
    Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 01/2012; 13(5):1851-6. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although Korean American women show high levels of involvement in religious practices and high prevalence of alcohol consumption, no studies have assessed the association between religious denomination and alcohol intake among this group of women. This cross-sectional study examined the associations of religious denomination and religious commitment to alcohol consumption among Korean American women in California. Polychotomous regression models were used to provide estimates of the associations between religious denomination and religious commitment to alcohol consumption. Catholic Korean American women (OR 5.61 P < 0.01) and Independent Christian women (OR 4.87 P < 0.01) showed stronger associations to heavy alcohol consumption when compared to Conservative Christian Korean American women. Path analysis suggested that specific denominations had both direct and indirect effects on the outcome of interest, and that religious commitment and drinking models served as moderators for this phenomenon.
    Journal of Religion and Health 02/2011; · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study estimated the association of cultural and social mechanisms with Korean American women's drinking behaviors. Data were drawn from telephone interviews with 591 Korean women selected from a random sample of households in California with Korean surnames during 2007. About 62% of eligible respondents completed the interview. Respondents reported any lifetime drinking (yes/no), drinking volume (typical number of drinks consumed on drinking days), level of acculturation, and described their social network by assessing who encouraged or discouraged drinking (drinking support) or drank (drinking models). Multivariable regressions were used for analyses. About 70% (95% confidence interval [95%CI]:, 67, 74) of Korean American women reported any lifetime drinking and current drinkers drank 1.18 (95%CI: 1.07, 1.28) drinks on drinking days. Acculturation was not significantly associated with any lifetime drinking or drinking volume, whereas models and support for drinking were statistically significantly associated with a higher probability of any lifetime drinking and drinking more on drinking days. Each additional encourager, or one or fewer discourager, for drinking in women's social networks was associated with a 2% (95%CI: 1, 3) higher probability of any lifetime drinking and drinking 0.25 (95%CI: -0.53, 1.18) more drinks on drinking days. Each additional drinker in women's networks was associated with a 4% (95%CI: 1, 8) higher probability of any lifetime drinking and drinking 0.26 (95%CI: -0.05, 0.60) more drinks on drinking days. Korean American women's drinking appears to be strongly related to their social networks, although how women take on traits of their new environment was not.
    Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) 02/2011; 45(1):89-97. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immigration involves challenges and distress, which affect health and well-being of immigrants. Koreans are a recent, fast-growing, but understudied group of immigrants in the USA, and no study has established or evaluated any immigration stress measure among this population. This study explores psychometric properties of Korean-translated Demands of Immigration (DI) Scale among first-generation female Korean immigrants in California. Analyses included evaluation of factor structure, reliability, validity, and descriptive statistics of subscales. A surname-driven sampling strategy was applied to randomly select a representative sample of adult female Korean immigrants in California. Telephone interviews were conducted by trained bilingual interviewers. Study sample included 555 first-generation female Korean immigrants who were interviewed in Korean language. The 22-item DI Scale was used to assess immigration stress in the study sample. Exploratory factor analysis suggested six correlated factors in the DI Scale: language barriers; sense of loss; not feeling at home; perceived discrimination; novelty; and occupation. Confirmatory factor analysis validated the factor structure. Language barriers accounted for the most variance of the DI Scale (29.11%). The DI Scale demonstrated good internal consistency reliability and construct validity. Evidence has been offered that the Korean-translated DI Scale is a reliable and valid measurement tool to examine immigration stress among Korean immigrants. The Korean-translated DI Scale has replicated factor structure obtained in other ethnicities, but addition of cultural-specific items is suggested for Korean immigrants. High levels of language and occupation-related stress warrant attention from researchers, social workers, and policy-makers. Findings from this study will inform future interventions to alleviate stress due to demands of immigration.
    Ethnicity and Health 02/2011; 16(1):11-24. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Age at migration has been recognized as important correlates of health behaviors among Asians because it captures different developmental phases of the immigrants. However, very little is known about its effect on smoking among Korean immigrant men despite their higher smoking prevalence compared to other Asians or ethnic minority groups. Objective. This study examined effects of age at migration on ever smoking and age of regular smoking onset among probability sample of Korean American male immigrants residing in California. Methods. Telephone interviews with two representative samples of Koreans in California were conducted between 2001-2002 and 2005-2006. A total of 850 Korean American male adults who were 18 years or older and did not initiate smoking until immigrating to the U.S. were included in the analyses. Results. Logistic regression analyses showed that age at migration was negatively associated with ever smoking controlling for age, acculturation, education, and survey. Acculturation, age, survey were negatively related to ever smoking while age was positively associated with ever smoking. Younger age at migration was also associated with younger age of regular smoking onset after controlling for age, acculturation, education, and survey in linear regression analyses conducted with ever smokers. Conclusions. The study findings suggest that protective effects of older age at migration on ever smoking and age of regular smoking onset among male Korean immigrants in California. Future interventions for this population should target adolescents who immigrated at younger age and continue through early adulthood for those who immigrated after 18.
    138st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2010; 11/2010
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    ABSTRACT: This study, informed by ecological frameworks, compared the prevalence, predictors, and association of home smoking restrictions with secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) between Koreans in Seoul, South Korea, and Korean Americans in California, United States. A cross-sectional survey was drawn from telephone interviews with Korean adults in Seoul (N = 500) and California (N = 2,830) during 2001-02. Multivariable regressions were used for analyses. Koreans, compared with Korean Americans, had significantly fewer complete home smoking bans, 19% (95% CI: 16-23) versus 66% (95% CI: 64-68), and were more likely to not have a home smoking restriction, 64% (95% CI: 60-69) versus 5% (95% CI: 4-6). Home smoking restrictions were associated with lower home SHSe; however, the impact was consistently larger among Korean Americans. Households with more SHSe sources were less likely to have the strongest home smoking restrictions, where the difference in complete bans among Korean Americans versus Koreans was largely among those at low risk of SHSe, 82% (95% CI: 76-86) versus 36% (95% CI: 17-57), while high-risk Korean American and Koreans had similar low probabilities, 10% (95% CI: 7-13) versus 7% (95% CI: 3-13). Consistent with ecological frameworks, exposure to California's antismoking policy and culture was associated with stronger home smoking restrictions and improved effectiveness. Interventions tailored to Korean and Korean American SHSe profiles are needed. Behavioral interventions specifically for high-risk Korean Americans and stronger policy controls for Koreans may be effective at rapidly expanding home smoking restrictions.
    Nicotine & Tobacco Research 10/2010; 12(11):1142-50. · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study assesses the association of immediate social and legal reprimand and current smoking status among Californians of Korean descent. Data were drawn from a population-based probability sample using a telephone survey conducted by bilingual, professional interviewers (N = 2085). About 85.0% of eligible respondents completed interviews and 86.3% of participants preferred to be interviewed in Korean. Smoking status was measured using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, ever smoked 100 cigarettes and currently smoke every day or some days. Reports of immediate criticism by others in several settings was associated with nonsmoking, but likelihood of immediate legal penalties was unrelated. Participants were far less likely to expect legal than social sanction. Results were replicated after controlling for reinforcers of smoking and ecologically relevant variables including models of smoking, primary group social support for smoking, acculturation, sex, acculturation by sex (male) interaction, age, and education. It may be efficacious to target public health interventions encouraging appropriate social sanctions of smoking in public among persons of Korean descent, and to encourage strict enforcement of legal penalties for smoking in public places.
    Health Psychology 05/2010; 29(3):255-61. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the interaction of gender with social network mechanisms and smoking behaviors in Seoul, South Korea, where smoking is common among men but not women. During 2002, telephone surveys were completed with 500 adults drawn from a probability sample in Seoul. Respondents described their smoking status, smoking rate (number of cigarettes smoked per day) and social networks by assessing who discouraged or encouraged smoking (smoking support) or smoked (smoking models). Multivariable regressions were used for analyses. Women encountered significantly less smoking support than men, 88% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 85-91) versus 70% (95% CI 66-73) net discouragement of smoking in their network. A difference in smoking support from 25 to 75% net discouragement was associated with a 27% (95% CI 9-49) lower probability of smoking among women, significantly stronger (z = 3.18, p < 0.01) than among men who had a 19% (95% CI 8-27) lower probability of smoking. A similar difference in smoking support was associated with male smokers smoking 6.38 (95% CI 0.86-12.30) fewer cigarettes per day, or 2,329 (95% CI 314-4,490) fewer cigarettes per year. The later association could not be observed among women due to the small proportion of female smokers. Smoking models were not significantly associated with any smoking behaviors across genders. Social network mechanisms were differentially associated with the high smoking prevalence among men and low prevalence among women and should be targeted by interventions tailored to these differences.
    International Journal of Public Health 03/2010; 55(6):609-17. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This research examines the influence of messages from religious leaders and congregants on whether Korean women are overweight or obese. Data were drawn from telephone interviews with a probability sample (N = 591) of women of Korean descent living in California. Overweight or obese prevalence was measured using World Health Organization standards for Asians (BMI > 23). Respondents reported the frequency of messages discouraging “excessive eating” or encouraging “exercise” from religious leaders and congregants during a typical month. When conditioned on leaders’ messages, the frequency of congregants’ messages was associated with a significantly lower probability of being overweight or obese, although messages from either in the absence of the other were unassociated with being overweight or obese. At least for Korean women, religion may help prevent obesity via religious-based social mechanisms.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 01/2010; 49(3):536-49. · 1.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Few longitudinal studies have examined the adoption of bans on smoking in private homes. This longitudinal study examined: (1) the prevalence of home smoking bans at baseline, (2) the incidence and predictors of new ban implementation by follow-up, and (3) the reasons for banning smoking and the difficulties with enforcement. The sample consisted of 1360 adults of Korean descent residing in California who were interviewed by telephone (in English/Korean) at baseline during 2001-2002 and re-interviewed in 2006-2007. Data analyses were conducted in 2007-2008. The proportion of respondents with a complete household smoking ban grew from 59% at baseline to 91% by the follow-up interview. Among the 552 respondents who did not have a ban at baseline, 84% had adopted a ban by follow-up. Three baseline factors independently predicted ban adoption during the follow-up period: the presence of a nonsmoking respondent or spouse, the presence of nonsmoking family members, and respondent's belief that secondhand smoke caused lung cancer. The most highly rated reasons for banning smoking were as follows: because smoke annoys others, to protect family members, to avoid the odor, to discourage youth from smoking, and to encourage smokers to quit. Finally, respondents indicated that they would find it most difficult to ask their parent-in-law not to smoke. The proportion of households with smoking bans increased substantially, but households with smokers or family members who smoke remained less likely to implement bans. The importance of culturally sensitive programs to promote household bans cannot be overstated.
    American journal of preventive medicine 11/2009; 37(5):437-40. · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This research identifies social reinforcers within religious institutions associated with alcohol consumption among Korean women in California. Data were drawn from telephone interviews with female adults (N = 591) selected from a random sampling of persons in California with Korean surnames during 2007. Approximately 70% of attempted interviews were completed, with 92% conducted in Korean. Respondents were asked about any lifetime drinking (yes/no), drinking rate (typical number of drinks consumed on drinking days among current drinkers), and messages discouraging "excessive drinking" from religious leaders or congregants. Bivariable and multivariable regressions were used for analysis. Approximately 70.4% of women reported any lifetime drinking, and drinkers drank a mean (SD) of 1.10 (1.22) drinks on drinking days. About 30.8% reported any exposure to religious leaders' messages discouraging excessive drinking, and 28.2% reported any exposure to similar messages from congregants. Each congregant's message was statistically significantly associated with a 5.1% lower probability (odds ratio = 0.775, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.626, 0.959) of any lifetime drinking. also, each congregant's message was associated with a 13.8% (B = -0.138; 95% CI: -0.306, 0.029) lower drinking rate, which was statistically significant after adjusting for covariates using a one-tailed test. Exposure to leaders' messages was not statistically significantly associated with any lifetime drinking or drinking rate. Social reinforcement in the form of religious messages may be one mechanism by which religious institutions influence drinking behaviors. For Korean women, messages from congregants had a unique impact beyond the traditional religiosity indicators. These social mechanisms provide public health interventionists with religious pathways to improve drinking behaviors.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 11/2009; 70(6):890-8. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This research identifies stressors that correlate with depression, focusing on acculturation, among female Korean immigrants in California. Telephone interviews were conducted with female adults of Korean descent (N = 592) from a probability sample from 2006 to 2007. Sixty-five percent of attempted interviews were completed, of which over 90% were conducted in Korean. Analyses include descriptive reports, bivariate correlations, and structural equation modeling. Findings suggest that acculturation did not have a direct impact on depression and was not associated with social support. However, acculturation was associated with reduced immigrant stress which, in turn, was related to decreased levels of depression. Immigrant stress and social support were the principal direct influences on depression, mediating the effect for most other predictors. Stressful experiences associated with immigration may induce depressive feelings. Interventions should facilitate acculturation thereby reducing immigrant stress and expand peer networks to increase social support to assuage depression.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 10/2009; 197(10):742-7. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study explores hypotheses linking church attendance to smoking prevalence, cessation, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and household smoking bans among Korean immigrants in California. Data were drawn from telephone interviews with Korean adults (N = 2085) based on a probability sample during 2005-2006 in which 86% of those contacted completed interviews. Koreans who reported that they had attended church were less likely to be current smokers and to be exposed to ETS, and more likely to have quit smoking and to have a complete smoking ban than non-attenders after statistical controls for behavioral covariates. Whether or not participants reported attending church was associated with increased tobacco control practices. Public health interventions may profit by seeking to expand cooperation with religious congregations to facilitate efforts to promote healthy lifestyles among immigrant populations beyond the influences of church attendance.
    Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 03/2009; 12(2):187-97. · 1.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence and correlates of home smoking bans in the Republic of Korea were examined using population-based data from telephone interviews with 500 Seoul adult residents in 2002. Most (97%) respondents indicated that they smoked, or that their spouse, other family member, or a regular friend smoked. Nearly all indicated that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is harmful. Only 19% of homes banned smoking, 65% allowed smoking anywhere, and 16% allowed smoking by special guests or in certain areas. The odds of having a full ban were significantly greater for men, married individuals, those less than 35 years or more than 50 years of age, non-smokers, individuals whose nonspouse family members did not smoke, and individuals with more sources of anti-ETS messages. Home smoking bans should be promoted by media campaigns and other tobacco control activities, because knowledge of the effects of ETS was already high.
    Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 02/2009; 21(1):63-70. · 1.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

286 Citations
65.72 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States
  • 2004–2013
    • San Diego State University
      • • Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health
      • • School of Nursing
      • • Graduate School of Public Health
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Southern California
      Los Angeles, California, United States
    • Naval Health Research Center
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2009–2011
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Health, Behavior and Society
      Baltimore, MD, United States
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Alcohol Research Group
      Berkeley, CA, United States