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Host Communication Competence and Psychological Health: A Study of Cross-cultural Adaptation of Korean Expatriate Employees in the United States*
Unformatted Document Text:  Cross-cultural Adaptation 23 competence in behavioral dimension dealing with daily interaction with host people facilitates their adjustment. The three levels of host interpersonal communication of expatriate employees (casual American acquaintance, casual American friends, close American friends) were significantly related to host communication competence and some of host mass media; but they were not significantly related to psychological health. This result was also found in this investigator’s exploratory study of Korean expatriates group (Y. S. Kim, 2001). Given the fact that most Korean expatriates as sojourners have his/her host interpersonal ties limited at work, most information might be obtained through his/her network with coethnic group. In addition, as branch offices and multinational organizations are usually largely centered in metropolitan city areas, the well-established ethnic community provides more interaction potential with coethnic nationals. The percentages of interpersonal ties with coethnic groups in each level (i.e., casual Korean acquaintances: 54%; casual Korean friends: 75.6%; close Korean friends: 82.9%) clearly show this tendency. Thus, the Korean expatriates might have more meaningful relationships with home nationals to feel comfortable and to have life satisfaction during their short-term sojourn. Host mass media consumption was found to be important to facilitate the expatriate adjustment. Newspapers/magazines, radio and movies were found to be an important aid that helps the adjustment of expatriates by providing indirect access to a larger social environment. The spouse/family adjustment was found to be positively related to psychological health, suggesting that the family adjustment is an important factor that enhances the expatriate adjustment. This finding is consistent with previous studies. In the study of the effect of spouse adjustment on the expatriate adjustment, researchers found that spouse adjustment was a significant predictor of expatriate adjustment (Black & Stephens, 1989; Nicholson & Imaizumi, 1993; Shaffer, Harrison, & Gilley, 1999). Even though it is consistent with findings of the previous studies, this finding should be interpreted with caution. In this study, the spouse/family adjustment was only assessed by the respondent’s perceived adaptation level of their

Authors: Kim, II, Yang-Soo.
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Cross-cultural Adaptation 23
competence in behavioral dimension dealing with daily interaction with host people facilitates their
adjustment.
The three levels of host interpersonal communication of expatriate employees (casual American
acquaintance, casual American friends, close American friends) were significantly related to host
communication competence and some of host mass media; but they were not significantly related to
psychological health. This result was also found in this investigator’s exploratory study of Korean
expatriates group (Y. S. Kim, 2001). Given the fact that most Korean expatriates as sojourners have
his/her host interpersonal ties limited at work, most information might be obtained through his/her
network with coethnic group. In addition, as branch offices and multinational organizations are usually
largely centered in metropolitan city areas, the well-established ethnic community provides more
interaction potential with coethnic nationals. The percentages of interpersonal ties with coethnic groups
in each level (i.e., casual Korean acquaintances: 54%; casual Korean friends: 75.6%; close Korean
friends: 82.9%) clearly show this tendency. Thus, the Korean expatriates might have more meaningful
relationships with home nationals to feel comfortable and to have life satisfaction during their short-term
sojourn.
Host mass media consumption was found to be important to facilitate the expatriate adjustment.
Newspapers/magazines, radio and movies were found to be an important aid that helps the adjustment of
expatriates by providing indirect access to a larger social environment. The spouse/family adjustment
was found to be positively related to psychological health, suggesting that the family adjustment is an
important factor that enhances the expatriate adjustment. This finding is consistent with previous
studies. In the study of the effect of spouse adjustment on the expatriate adjustment, researchers found
that spouse adjustment was a significant predictor of expatriate adjustment (Black & Stephens, 1989;
Nicholson & Imaizumi, 1993; Shaffer, Harrison, & Gilley, 1999). Even though it is consistent with
findings of the previous studies, this finding should be interpreted with caution. In this study, the
spouse/family adjustment was only assessed by the respondent’s perceived adaptation level of their


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