Investigating the role of residential migration history on the relationship between attachment and sense of belonging: A SEM approach

Patric Esters, Brian P Godor, Ruth Van der Hallen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

With the rate of both domestic and international migration steadily increasing, the psychological impact of residential migration remains largely unexplored. Attachment, the emotional bond we establish with those close to us, and sense of belonging, the feeling of connectedness to a community, may be vulnerable to frequent migration. This study investigates the association between individuals' early attachment style, sense of belonging, and migration history. A large international sample (N = 465) aged between 18 and 50 years old (M = 21.85; SD = 4.48), completed a survey on early attachment primary attachment style questionnaire (PASQ), sense of belonging (SOBI), and migration. Results comparing non-movers (n = 240) to domestic movers (n = 52), international movers (n = 109), and domestic-international movers (n = 64), indicate important group differences related to early attachment and its relationship to one's sense of belonging. Moreover, insecure attachment was associated with increased migration early in life and, more in general, predictive of a negative sense of belonging later in life. Implications for both research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Community Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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