American Sociological Association

Institutional Supports and Life Satisfaction: The Case of Cross-border Marriage Migrants in South Korea

The positive influence of institutional supports from social networks on psychological well-being of immigrants is extensively acknowledged in the literature. However, immigration experiences outside the Western societies are underexplored. Using data from the 2012 Korean National Survey for Multicultural Family, I examine how institutional supports for cross-border marriage migration shape life satisfaction among female marriage migrants in South Korea. Findings reveal that levels of life satisfaction among marriage migrants married via commercially arranged marriage agencies are lower than those of female marriage migrants using interpersonal networks from kinship and friends/colleagues. Religion-motivated marriage migrants show lower levels of life satisfaction. In addition, the impacts of institutional supports on life satisfaction are mediated by marriage duration and language proficiency, indicating higher levels of satisfaction are associated with shorter marriage duration and better language proficiency; however, the impacts vary by institutional supports.


Hyunsu Oh