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Psychological Aspects of Geographical Moves

Psychological Aspects of Geographical Moves: Homesickness and Acculturation Stress

Miranda A.L. van Tilburg
Ad J.J.M. Vingerhoets
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Psychological Aspects of Geographical Moves
    Book Description:

    Mobility of mankind has increased enormously in the past few decades. People leave their homes and native countries for business and study, for vacation or to flee from unsafe conditions like wars and natural disasters. In all cases the sojourner faces a dual challenge of breaking with the familiar home environment and adjusting to new surroundings. This book deals with the psychological and health consequences of leaving the familiar home and the process of creating a new one. The focus is mainly on acculturation stress and homesickness, which both are relevant to those who travel. Acculturation refers to the process and outcome of a person's encounter with, and adaptation to, a culturally new and different environment. Homesickness is defined as a depression-like reaction to leaving one's home. The contributions in this book present empirical data as well as theoretical and conceptual discussions. Causes, consequences, moderating variables, and theoretical explanations are discussed. Both short-term (e.g., vacations) and long-term (e.g. immigration) separations from home receive attention. By combining these different but related topics, this book provides a valuable overview for researchers, teachers, students and professionals working with people who present with problems related to migration or traveling. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0416-9
    Subjects: Psychology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Preface
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
    Miranda van Tilburg and Ad Vingerhoets
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. [ix]-[x])
  4. Contributors
    (pp. [xi]-[xii])
  5. 1 The Homesickness Concept: Questions and Doubts
    (pp. 1-16)
    Ad Vingerhoets

    In today’s world more and more appeals are being made to our adaptational capacities. The time of living and dying in the place where we were born in is long past. Current educational, professional, and – not in the least – recreational activities take us away far from our home environment and bring us into contact with other places and other cultures for shorter or longer periods. International exchange programs, dispatchment movements, migration, and international tourism make us spend less time in our familiar environment than we ever did before. In addition, we must not forget special and vulnerable groups,...

  6. 2 Culture Shock, Homesickness, and Adaptation to a Foreign Culture
    (pp. 17-34)
    Adrian Furnham

    What is it like being a sojourner in a foreign country? Do ‘foreigners’ do as well as ‘natives’? How well do they cope with the culture of the country in which they are studying? Is there much evidence of psychological distress among sojourners, be they businessmen, diplomats, missionaries, the military or students? Foreign and exchangestudentshave been the topic of academic research for a very long time (Bock, 1970; Brislin, 1979; Byrnes, 1966; Furnham & Tresize, 1983; Tornbiorn, 1982; Zwingmann & Gunn, 1963).

    Well over a million young people go abroad to study at a foreign university. The experience of studying...

  7. 3 The Psychological Context of Homesickness
    (pp. 35-48)
    Miranda A.L. Van Tilburg

    Homesickness is a common experience. Everybody has an intuitive idea about homesickness is and how it is experienced. Many of us can even draw from personal experiences. Throughout history it has also been subject of many poets and writers. The first written accounts of homesickness can be found in the Bible, Psalm 137: “By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down, yeah wept when we remembered Zion” and in Homer’s description of Ulysses who was weeping and rolling on the floor when he was thinking of home. From the 17th century onward systematic (case) studies of homesickness have been...

  8. 4 Geographical Moves and Psychological Adjustment
    (pp. 49-62)
    Shirley Fisher

    Research on geographical moves has been evident since the turn of the century when large population movements occurred for various reasons. Immigration between countries was stimulated by changes in agricultural and industrial conditions and generally the populations involved sought to better their predicaments. Research carried out on these populations however, indicated that geographical transitions were stressful and likely to increase the risk of changes in mental or physical health. What was never clear was whether there is self-selection into moves, which favors all those relatively at risk for ill health. Studies identified the vulnerability of those who chose to move...

  9. 5 Homesickness and Acculturation Stress in the International Student
    (pp. 63-72)
    Terence P. Hannigan

    This chapter provides a review of factors that are related to homesickness and acculturation stress, as well as personal observations of the author who has worked with international students for fourteen years. In this role, a common task is preparing students who are about to study beyond the boundaries of their country for the many positive and negative experiences they will have during their sojourn. One of these negative experiences is homesickness, a term which is defined as, “longing for home and family while absent from them” (Mishet al., 1986). Church (1982) cites a list of problems encountered by...

  10. 6 Psychological and Psychosocial Adjustment of Migrants: Families in a Changing Environment.
    (pp. 73-90)
    Dan G. Hertz

    The actuality and topicality of this paper has been facilitated by the many and often unexpected events and political changes which are taking place at the present time in different parts of the world. The author does not intend to enumerate all of them; however the aftermath of ‘glasnost and perestroyka,’ the unification of Europe in 1992-1994 and the impending changes in South East Asia in 1997 are quoted as examples. The question to be asked is not whether these changes affect the physical and mental health of the world population, but rather to what extent are behavioral scientists, researchers,...

  11. 7 Individual Differences in Acculturative Stress Reactions: Determinants of Homesickness and Psychosocial Maladjustment
    (pp. 91-104)
    Paul G. Schmitz

    Previous research findings (Berry, 1976, 1988; Berryet al., 1976; 1987; Schmitz, 1992b, 1994a; Zheng & Berry, 1991) have shown that the immigrants may experience their efforts to acculturate as stressful. An immigrant is confronted with a variety of problems, such as maintenance or change of his own cultural identity, and dealing with conflicts between different systems of values, beliefs and behavior, namely those of the mainstream society, those of his own ethnic group, and those belonging to his own personal sphere. In addition, an immigrant has to solve problems such as housing, finding adequate nutrition, often acquiring a new language,...

  12. 8 The Cry for the Lost Placenta: Cultural Bereavement and Cultural Survival among Cambodians who Resettled, were Repatriated, or Stayed at Home
    (pp. 105-126)
    Maurice Eisenbruch

    In this chapter I consider five themes fundamental to the plight of displaced persons world-wide: (1) cultural bonds to home and community; (2) the role of tradition in sustaining the cultural bonding and hence well-being of refugees; (3) the notion of cultural bereavement and how it may be worsened when culture is threatened; (4) how indigenous traditions need to be preserved in the face of intrusion of Western cultural paradigms; (5) the importance of cultural, as well as psychic, losses of displaced persons in their attempts to cope with movements from homeland, and with going home. These five themes will...

  13. 9 Children’s Coping with Homesickness: Phenomenology and Intervention
    (pp. 127-146)
    Christopher A. Thurber

    How children and adolescents¹ cope with homesickness deserves careful study for several reasons. First, homesickness is experienced by millions of children who spend time away from home and family. In children separated from home, self-reported prevalence rates of homesickness hover around 75%, depending on sample and environment characteristics (e.g., Fisher, 1989; Thurber, 1995a). The emotional distress, behavior problems, and deleterious physical, cognitive, and social consequences of homesickness have been well documented in young people (Burt, 1993; Fisheret al., 1990; Fisher & Hood, 1987; Fisheret al., 1986; Fisheret al., 1985; Thurber, 1995a).

    Second, an understanding of how children cope...

  14. 10 Homesickness after Relocation during Early Adolescence
    (pp. 147-160)
    Eric M. Vernberg and Camille J. Randall

    The early adolescent years (11-14 years of age) are notable for major biological, cognitive, and social transitions. Relocation to a new community during this period creates an additional set of demands for the adolescent and his or her family, yet research on the ways relocation may influence adolescent development remains sparse. Conceptual models of homesickness potentially contribute to a clearer understanding of possible effects of relocation during early adolescence. This chapter applies these conceptual models within the context of major developmental features of early adolescence.

    Three propositions organize this effort. First, homesickness models may provide needed guidance for future research...

  15. 11 Personality, Temperament, and Homesickness
    (pp. 161-178)
    Guus L. Van Heck, Ad J.J.M. Vingerhoets, Aafke Voolstra, Irma Gruijters, Hannie Thijs and Miranda A.L. Van Tilburg

    Homesickness is a condition familiar to most people. The main characteristic is the pervasive feeling of sadness that happens universally to all age groups, under conditions of being away from home. Despite the universality of homesickness, little research has been done on this specific condition or its outcomes (Baier & Welch, 1992). Arising from the currently available literature reviews, conceptual analyses and empirical studies are many research questions focusing at antecedents and consequences of homesickness. A major question that should be asked concerns personality factors as preceding factors of homesickness.

    It certainly is not a voluminous literature that examines the links...

  16. 12 Homesickness, Personality and Personality Disorders: An Overview and Therapeutic Considerations
    (pp. 179-196)
    Elisabeth H.M. Eurelings-Bontekoe

    Homesickness can be described as a depression-like reaction to leaving a familiar environment, characterized by ruminative thoughts about home and the desire to go back to the familiar environment. Dijkstra and Hendrix (1983) define homesickness as “a for humans normal state of being, characterized by a depressed mood, physical complaints and a ruminative thinking about the familiar environment and/or familiar people.”

    It is important to make a distinction between homesickness occurring when being separated form the home situation as astateand as anenduring vulnerabilityto react with grief each time when being away from the familiar environment. Verschuur...

  17. 13 Health Issues in International Tourism: The Role of Health Behavior, Stress and Adaptation
    (pp. 197-212)
    Ad Vingerhoets, Nanda Sanders and Wendela Kuper

    In the last decades, people from western countries travel increasingly and more often abroad, visit exotic places, and come into contact with different cultures (cf. Cossar, 2000; Cossar & Reid, 1989). For example, according to recent figures from the Dutch Tourism Office and the Dutch Central Statistical Office, approximately 81% of the Dutch population spend their annual vacation away from home and 39% go abroad for a longer period (CBS, 2004). Worldwide, the number of international tourists increased from 26 million in 1949 to 429 million in 1990 (Cossar, 2000). The increase in the number of international tourists is paralleled by...

  18. 14 Development of Psychopathology in International Tourists
    (pp. 213-226)
    Marcel A.H. Monden

    Each year many western habitants take a holiday abroad. Worldwide the tourism flow is growing. In general, holidays are associated with positive experiences. Holidays are thought of as being a welcome change for today’s hectic life. Many of us feel free and relaxed when on a holiday. However, problems can and do arise. In period from 1994 until 2004, there was an increase of approximately 23,500 to about 45,000 in the number of requests for assistance by Dutch international tourists. Surprisingly, the number of requests associated with psychic problems remained rather constant (approximately 500) over this period. Psychoses and other...

  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 227-228)