Social and Psychological Adjustments of First Generation Polish Immigrants to Australia

by Marek Waclaw Jancz

Institution: University of Sydney
Year: 2000
Keywords: Immigration-Adjustments-Heath
Record ID: 1031949
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/363


The primary aim of this research was to find predictors of psycho-social adjustment of Polish immigrants to Sydney, Australia. There were two sets of independent variables considered: i) personal characteristics, including: intelligence, extraversion, neuroticism, style of attribution and self-acceptance and ii) demographic information, consisted of: age, gender, length of residence, marital status, number of children, educational level, yearly income, immigration status (dependent vs. independent immigration) and residential status. The dependent variables were social (adaptation and assimilation) and psychological adjustment. The hypotheses tested in the study were that each of these personal and demographic characteristics would be associated with adaptation and/or assimilation, and psychological well-being. The two samples (both studies) were composed of more than 200 first generation Polish immigrants who arrived in Australia after 1980. No significant gender differences were found. The internal consistency and principal components structure of Adaptation and Assimilation were examined, and the measures were refined. There were employed standard measurements (i.e. GHQ, BDI, BAI, EPI, ASQ, Raven Matrices and WAIS-Vocabulary) and newly developed measures (i.e. the Social Adjustment Scale and the Self-Acceptance Questionnaire). The general results suggested that psycho-social adjustment was best predicted by three pre-arrival characteristics (extraversion, education and self-acceptance), and post-arrival employment status and length of residence. There were, however, some differences in regard to the particular aspects of psycho-social adjustment. Better adaptation was meaningfully related to employment (income) and education in Study 1, and self-acceptance, employment and extraversion in Study 2; better assimilation seemed to be significantly predicted by education, age of arrival and length of residence (Study 1), and self-acceptance, extraversion, education and age of arrival (Study 2). Psychological [mal]adjustment was best indicated by globality and stability in attributing negative events (Study 1), lower self-acceptance and lack of employment status (Study 2).