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Returning home: The role of expectations in re‐entry adaptation

Geeraert, Nicolas and Ward, Colleen and Hanel, Paul HP (2022) 'Returning home: The role of expectations in re‐entry adaptation.' Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 14 (3). pp. 949-966. ISSN 1758-0846

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Returning home after a study abroad experience can be challenging. In the current research, we examine the discrepancy between adaptation expectations and experience in a longitudinal sojourner study (N = 1319; Mage = 17 years; 70% female). Returnees adaptation expectations were assessed prior to returning home, followed by post return measures of adaptation experiences and general well-being. Overall, returnees reported higher levels of re-entry adaptation than anticipated. According to the accuracy hypothesis, unmet expectations will be associated with lower well-being. In contrast, the directional hypothesis suggests that unmet expectations will negatively impact on well-being, but only if the expectation is undermet. Well-being on return was regressed on pre-travel adaptation expectations and adaptation experience on re-entry. Polynomial regression and Response Surface Analyses were conducted for two outcome variables (stress and satisfaction with life), two types of adaptation (psychological and sociocultural), and at different time points (approximately 2 weeks and 6 months after return). Results consistently show that larger discrepancies were associated with lower well-being for negative mismatches (when expectations were undermet). For positive mismatches, if adaptation was better than expected, well-being was higher. Congruence between expectation and experience were not associated with well-being. Thus, across analyses, results supported a directional hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: acculturation; adaptation; expectation; re-entry; return; sojourn
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 16:54
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2022 08:09

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