Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The immigration process does not only include the life after relocating to a new environment and settling down in the host society but also includes separation from the life before their departure and the negotiation between redeeming and closing their losses. This study was the first attempt to investigate migratory loss among adult immigrants of Chinese descent. The study developed the Migratory Loss Scale and examined the moderation effect of acculturation as well as the moderation effect of the presence of immigration-related meaning on the relationship between migratory loss and depression. The study also examined the mediation effect of the search for immigration-related meaning on the relationship between migratory loss and depression using structural equation modeling (SEM). The survey package was distributed both online and in paper form. Participants were allowed to choose either the English or Chinese version. The final sample consisted of 440 adult immigrants of Chinese descent with a mean age of 40.26 years (SD = 9.96, range = 19–73). Through exploratory factor analysis (EFA), the final version of the Migratory Loss Scale had 30 items with a seven-factor solution (i.e., loss of language, loss of sense of home, loss of social capital, loss of environmental familiarity, loss of cultural customs, loss of relational ties, and loss of a sense of competence). This study revealed statistically significant relationships between migratory loss and depression (r = .46, p < .001), acculturation (r = -.38, p < .001), enculturation (r = .14, p < .01), the search for immigration-related meaning (r = .19, p < .001), and the presence of immigration-related meaning (r = -.20, p < .001) among adult immigrants of Chinese descent. The non-significant results of the two moderation tests and the mediation test were discussed. This study called for attention on the migratory loss among adult immigrants of Chinese descent, who have been stereotypically viewed as relatively privileged and well-resourced due to the myths of voluntary immigration and Asians as the model minority.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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