Child Health Nurs Res.  2013 Apr;19(2):102-110.

The Early Childhood Caring Experience of North Korean Refugee Mothers

  • 1Department of Nursing, Kyungil University, Gyeongsan, Korea.


This study was done to develop a theory on the early childhood caring experience of North Korean refugee mothers and how such caring affects how they deal with the socio-psychological problems they face as North Korean refugees.
Data were gathered by in-depth interviews, participant observation, and medical records, and were analyzed using the Grounded Theory methods of Strauss and Corbin (1998).
From open coding 62 concepts, 23 subcategories and 11 categories were derived, and the North Korean refugee mothers' caring experience was revealed to be 'hopeful upbringing'. A central theme common to the participants was 'coexistence of expectations and worries'.
The results of this study provide theoretical grounds to understand North Korean refugee mothers' child care experiences and offer personalized nursing and a deeper understanding of their needs by looking at their experience. Findings may also be useful to help nurses who care for North Korean refugee mother-child dyads in the community and in clinical settings to gain insight on this special needs group, and facilitate the development of interventions based on better understanding of the mothers' experiences.


Early Childhood; caring experience; North Korean refugee mothers
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