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Denise Kim New York University

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1 Denise Kim New York University
The Role of Church Attendance on the Academic Performance of Korean American College Students Denise Kim New York University I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Beth Shinn and peer reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.

2 Korean Americans in the U.S.
In the last 50 years, there has been an influx of Korean immigrants into the U.S. There are 1,076,872 Korean Americans in the U.S. (U.S. Census 2000). Korean American immigrants have been characterized by high degrees of acculturation and overall success in adapting to the U.S. The Korean American community in the U.S. is highly affiliated with the Christian church: In 2001, there were 3,375 Korean churches in the U.S. This figure is equivalent to one church for every 319 Koreans in the U.S. The academic performance of Korean American students has been well documented.

3 Academic Performance of Korean Americans
The collectivistic nature of Korean American families is a key factor in motivating students to succeed academically. Parental expectations play a major role in explaining Korean American students’ success. Education is viewed as a social and economic tool for upward mobility and advancement. Korean American youth achieve higher scores on standardized tests, have higher GPAs, and attend four-year colleges at higher rates than students of different ethnic backgrounds.

4 Religiosity & Church Religion provides Korean Americans with a sense of inclusion and solidarity in the United States. Church acts on three levels: Religious piety and devotion Social nature Psychological healing Korean Americans retreat to church to socialize among people who share similar cultures, beliefs, and values. Religion and church plays a strong role in forming, maintaining, and reinforcing the Korean American identity.

5 Religiosity & Academics
Religiosity refers to an individual’s attendance and involvement in church. Like schools, church is a socializing agent where youths build interpersonal relationships and instill routines. Church attendance is a form of social integration that reinforces positive values leading to higher academic achievement. Church involvement is positively correlated with math and reading achievement (Regnerus, 2000). Church attendance increases the likelihood individuals complete high school and attend college (Loury, 2004).

6 Rationale for Study Literature portrays Korean American youth as high academic achievers. However, there is a large group of Korean American youth who do not do well in school (Ang & Huan, 2006; Blair & Qian, 1998). Exploring the relationship between church attendance and academic performance might provide new insights into the disparate academic success among Korean American youth.

7 Study Objective The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between religiosity and academic performance. In the proposed study, religiosity will be measured through church attendance and academic performance through GPA. Research Question: Is there a significant relationship between frequency of church attendance and overall grade point average? Hypothesis: Korean American college students who attend church will exhibit higher performance in school.

8 Participants & Procedure
100 Korean American New York University students Korean American students must have been born in the U.S. or have immigrated to the U.S. before age five. All majors/disciplines Participants will be recruited from NYU by an open-call method: Filter for Korean Americans in NYU’s student directory and send to participate in the study Survey will be administered via SurveyMonkey 5-10 minute completion time

9 Measures Two-part survey Part A: Academic performance
Year in college Cumulative GPA Part B: Church attendance Religious affiliation Frequency of church attendance while in school (4-point scale)

10 Data Analysis Descriptive Statistics Hierarchical Regression
Year in college Cumulative GPA Religious affiliation Frequency of church attendance Hierarchical Regression Frequency of church attendance  GPA

11 Potential Results & Implications
Results of the present study will show a significant and positive association between church attendance and academic achievement for Korean American students. Religious institutions act as socializing agents that facilitates positive interpersonal relationships amongst peers and families. Attending church influences the formation and maintenance of community values, specifically values conducive to educational aspirations and achievement.

12 Future Research Directions
The present investigation is largely exploratory as few studies have examined the relationship between religiosity and academic achievement, and even fewer among Korean Americans. Future research directions might include a qualitative investigation of this relationship, thereby providing a more in-depth understanding of the mechanisms at play. Additionally, a longitudinal study tracking students (e.g., through high school or college years) would provide a comprehensive portrayal of other factors that moderate and/or mediate this relationship across diverse ethnic groups.

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