Evidence for a 'Migrant Personality': Attachment Styles of Poles in Poland and Polish Immigrants in The Netherlands

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Title: Evidence for a 'Migrant Personality': Attachment Styles of Poles in Poland and Polish Immigrants in The Netherlands
Authors: Polek, Ela
Van Oudenhoven, Jan Pieter
Ten Berge, Jos M. F.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5196
Date: 2011
Abstract: In the present study, we examined empirical evidence for a concept of a "migrant personality" using the attachment framework. We compared Polish emigrants in the Netherlands to the Poles living in Poland measuring their secure and dismissing attachment styles, while controlling for age, gender, and education in both samples. The results showed that emigrants are more secure and more dismissing than their fellow countrymen (p < .001). Furthermore, we examined, whether attachment styles might be influenced by the host culture. For that purpose, we subdivided the sample of emigrants into eleven cohorts (each cohort differentiated from the other by two more years of residence) and we compared the mean scores on secure and dismissing attachment styles in consecutive cohorts of emigrants. We observed that the mean scores on secure and dismissing attachment remained similar over cohorts of emigrants. Moreover, the differences between emigrants and non-emigrants were of similar magnitude across cohorts. This suggests that the attachment styles of emigrants are not influenced by the host culture, and that the observed differences in attachment styles between emigrants and non-emigrants last over time, and presumably, existed prior to emigration. Finally, we found that secure attachment was a stronger predictor of psychological health in the emigrant sample than in the in-country sample. In sum, evidence for a migrant personality has been found. This personality, as the results suggest, is functional for emigrants.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
Volume: 9
Issue: 4
Start page: 311
End page: 326
Copyright (published version): 2011 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Dismissive attachmentImmigrants’ adjustmentMigrant personalityMigrationPolish immigrantsSecure attachmentWell-being
DOI: 10.1080/15562948.2011.616163
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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