No place to call home: Cultural homelessness, self-esteem and cross-cultural identities.

by Raquel Carvalho Hoersting

Institution: University of North Texas
Year: 2009
Keywords: Cultural homelessness; culture; third culture kids (TCK); sojourners; cultural identity; Self-esteem.; Ethnopsychology.; Identity (Psychology)
Record ID: 1846622
Full text PDF: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc10991/


The study examined relations between a cross-cultural geographically mobile childhood and adult cultural identity, attachment to cross-cultural identities (CCIs) and self-esteem. CCIs are loosely defined identities (e.g., third culture kids [TCKs], military brats, missionary kids) that describe some individuals' childhood cross-cultural experience. The 475 participants spent at least two years before age 18 in a culture different from their parents' and completed an online survey including childhood cross-cultural experiences, Cultural Homelessness Criteria, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and Self Label Identity Measure (SLIM) that captured strength of affirmation, belonging and commitment to any CCI. Cultural homelessness (CH) was related to lower self-esteem; higher SLIM scores was related to higher self-esteem and lower CH. TCKs reported lower self-esteem than non-TCKs and older participants experienced less CH and higher self-esteem. SLIM scores buffered the CH-self-esteem relationship, whereas a TCK CCI and having more cross-culturally experienced social networks did not.