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Dr. Park at campus lion statue

Title: Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Office: 207 E  Main Building
Phone: 610-892-1452
E-mail: bcp10@psu.edu

B. C. Ben Park has a doctoral degree in sociology (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University) and a master’s degree in sociology (College of William and Mary). His research program has concerned a number of topics, including suicidal behavior, the personal impacts of immigration and the socialization of the youth. The major strand of his research has looked at suicide, which has been an emerging public health issue in many Pacific-rim countries. A particular focus in this research has been on how the increased suicide behavior in modern era is related to the classic sociological problem of how macro-level historical and structural forces have impacts on the micro-level of individual lives. He has also developed research that addresses politically-inspired suicide, a controversial but little studied phenomenon which has had profound impacts on modern societies. A separate area of his research has focused on Korean immigrant families in U.S. society and the role of ethnic language in the process of the identity development of the youthful generation and the intergenerational conflict at home.

Recent Publications:

“Rising Youth Suicide and the Changing Cultural Context in South Korea” (coauthored with Jeong Soo Im and Kathryn S. Ratcliff), Crisis (in press).

“Cultural Ambivalence and Suicide Rates in South Korea” in Erminia Colucci and David Lester (Eds.) Suicide and Culture (2013): 237-262. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe.

“Suicides by Fire in South Korea” as Letter to the Editor: (coauthored with David Lester), BURNS: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 39: 826-7, 2013.

“Towards a Reassessment of the Role of Divorce in Suicide Outcomes: Evidence from Five Pacific Rim Populations” (coauthored with Paul S.F. Yip, et. al.) Social Science and Medicine 75(2):358-366, 2012.

“Rural and Urban Suicide in South Korea” (coauthored with David Lester), Psychological Reports, 111(2):495-497, 2012.

“Reasons for Committing Suicide in South Korean University Students” (coauthored with Jung Jin Kim & David Lester) Suicidology Online, 2:11-16, 2011.

“Suicide Among Foreign Residents of Japan” (third author with David Lester & Yukio Saito) Psychological Reports, 108(1):139-140, 2011.

“Pathological Conditions of Korean Society: Rebuilding a Community for Suicide Prevention” Discorse 201 (Damloan), 13(4):159-186, 2010.

“Martyrs’ Last Letters: Are They the Same as Suicide Notes?” (second author with Antoon Leenaars, Peter Collins, Susanne Wenckstern, & Lindsey Leenaars) Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55(3): 660-668, 2010.