Psychosocial Anxiety in Korea: Risk Factors and Policy Implications

Psychosocial Anxiety in Korea: Risk Factors and Policy Implications

Lee, Sangyoung

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Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs
Research in Brief, no. 16, pp. 1 - 4
This study is based on a survey KIHASA conducted of 5,000 adolescents (online) and 7,000 adults (home visit interview) in August ~ September 2015. The anxiety score, evaluated on an 11-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (not at all anxious) to 10 (extremely anxious), was 4.7 for the adolescents and 5.4 for the adults. That adults on average have a higher anxiety score may imply that, compared to adolescents, they are more exposed to psychosocial risk factors. The psychosocial anxiety level varied with age, gender and educational attainment. The psychosocial anxiety score was higher for high school students than for middle school students and college students, suggesting that college entrance exam is a major risk factor for psychosocial anxiety in adolescents. In adults, the anxiety level was higher in people in their 60s, 70s and beyond than in those younger, though by not much. When considered in an absolute sense, these anxiety scores are high. However, the difference in the anxiety score between those who rated their lives as “mostly unhappy” (6.8 for adolescents and 6.6 for adults) and people who found themselves “happy” (4.3 for adolescents and 5.2 for adults) manifests itself as statistically significant.
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