Toward a concept of a migrant personality

  • Boneva B
  • Frieze I
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Abstract

In this article we argue that individuals who want to emigrate possess a syndrome of personality characteristics that differentiates them from those who want to stay in their country of origin. Based on our own research, as well as other research findings, we show that those who want to resettle in another country tend to be more work-oriented and to have higher achievement and power motivation, but lower affiliation motivation and family centrality, than those who do not want to leave their country of origin. This migrant personality syndrome is seen as only one of the variety of factors that determine migratory behavior. We further discuss some of the possible implications of our findings for the receiving and the sending countries and possible psychological interventions that can ease the acculturation of immigrants.

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Authors

  • Bonka S. Boneva

  • Irene Hanson Frieze

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