Psychological Aspects of Geographical Moves (with Miranda van Tilburg)

Mobility of mankind has increased enormously in the past few decades. People leave their homes and native countries for business and study, for vacation, or to flee from unsafe conditions like wars and natural disasters. In all cases the sojourner faces a dual challenge of breaking with the familiar home environment and adjusting to new surroundings. This book deals with the psychological and health consequences of leaving the familiar home and the process of creating a new one. The focus is mainly on acculturation stress and homesickness, which both are relevant to those who travel. Acculturation refers to the process and outcome of a person’s encounter with, and adaptation to, a culturally new and different environment. Homesickness is defined as a depression-like reaction to leaving one’s home.

The contributions in this book present empirical data as well as theoretical and conceptual discussions. Causes, consequences, moderating variables, and theoretical explanations are discussed. Both short-term (e.g., vacations) and long-term (e.g., immigration) separations from home receive attention. By combining these different but related topics, this book provides a valuable overview for researchers, teachers, students, and professionals working with people who present with problems related to migration or traveling.