UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


The purpose of this paper is to review Hwa-Byung, a cultural syndrome specific to Koreans and Korean immigrants. Hwa-Byung is a unique diagnosis and differs from other DSM disorders. However, Hwa-Byung has frequent comorbidity with other DSM disorders such as anger disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder. There are several risk factors for Hwa-Byung including psychosocial stress caused by marital conflicts and conflicts with their in-laws. Previous interventions of the Hwa-Byung syndrome were based primarily on the medical model. Therefore, based on previous research, we present a new ecological model of Hwa-Byung. We also recommend some areas of future research as well as present some limitations of our ecological model. Finally, we discuss some treatment issues, particularly for Korean women in the United States.


Hwa-Byung, Korean women, ecological model of Hwa-Byung, treatment issues


Lee J, Wachholtz A, Choi KH. A Review of the Korean Cultural Syndrome Hwa-Byung: Suggestions for Theory and Intervention. Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling (Asia Taepyongyang Sangdam Yongu). 2014 Jan;4(1):49. PubMed PMID: 25408922; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4232959.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling (Asia Taepyongyang Sangdam Yongu)

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID