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Social support, adjustment, and psychological distress of help-seeking expatriates

(2018) PSYCHOLOGICA BELGICA. 58(1). p.297-317
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Abstract
The present study aimed to explore the interrelations between support processes, adjustment, and psychological distress within a sample of help-seeking expatriates. Specifically, we examined (1) the association between expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment (i.e., work, interaction and general adjustment) and levels of psychological distress (i.e., depression, anxiety and stress), (2) the association between expatriates' perceptions of socioemotional and instrumental support availability and their level of cross-cultural adjustment, and (3) the moderating role of expatriates' socioemotional and instrumental support needs in the latter association. Findings showed that lower levels of expatriates' work adjustment were associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Further, perceived availability of socioemotional support was positively linked to expatriates' interaction and work adjustment. Finally, instrumental support needs moderated the relationship between instrumental support availability and general adjustment such that higher levels of instrumental support availability were associated with better general adjustment, but only for expatriates reporting high needs for instrumental support. Our study represents a novel contribution to the expatriate literature by shedding light on expatriates' vulnerability for psychological distress and understanding the type of social support that is considered most beneficial for help-seeking expatriates. Suggestions are made for clinical interventions for expatriates in need of support.
Keywords
CROSS-CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT, INTERNATIONAL ADJUSTMENT, PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL, REACTIONS, STRESS, MODEL, ASSIGNMENTS, DIMENSIONS, ANXIETY, FAMILY, ABROAD, expatriates, cross-cultural adjustment, social support, socio-emotional, support, instrumental support, help-seeking sample

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Filipic Sterle, Mojca, Tine Vervoort, and Lesley Verhofstadt. 2018. “Social Support, Adjustment, and Psychological Distress of Help-seeking Expatriates.” Psychologica Belgica 58 (1): 297–317.
APA
Filipic Sterle, M., Vervoort, T., & Verhofstadt, L. (2018). Social support, adjustment, and psychological distress of help-seeking expatriates. PSYCHOLOGICA BELGICA, 58(1), 297–317.
Vancouver
1.
Filipic Sterle M, Vervoort T, Verhofstadt L. Social support, adjustment, and psychological distress of help-seeking expatriates. PSYCHOLOGICA BELGICA. London: Ubiquity Press Ltd; 2018;58(1):297–317.
MLA
Filipic Sterle, Mojca, Tine Vervoort, and Lesley Verhofstadt. “Social Support, Adjustment, and Psychological Distress of Help-seeking Expatriates.” PSYCHOLOGICA BELGICA 58.1 (2018): 297–317. Print.
@article{8609736,
  abstract     = {The present study aimed to explore the interrelations between support processes, adjustment, and psychological distress within a sample of help-seeking expatriates. Specifically, we examined (1) the association between expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment (i.e., work, interaction and general adjustment) and levels of psychological distress (i.e., depression, anxiety and stress), (2) the association between expatriates' perceptions of socioemotional and instrumental support availability and their level of cross-cultural adjustment, and (3) the moderating role of expatriates' socioemotional and instrumental support needs in the latter association. Findings showed that lower levels of expatriates' work adjustment were associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Further, perceived availability of socioemotional support was positively linked to expatriates' interaction and work adjustment. Finally, instrumental support needs moderated the relationship between instrumental support availability and general adjustment such that higher levels of instrumental support availability were associated with better general adjustment, but only for expatriates reporting high needs for instrumental support. Our study represents a novel contribution to the expatriate literature by shedding light on expatriates' vulnerability for psychological distress and understanding the type of social support that is considered most beneficial for help-seeking expatriates. Suggestions are made for clinical interventions for expatriates in need of support.},
  author       = {Filipič Sterle, Mojca and Vervoort, Tine and Verhofstadt, Lesley},
  issn         = {0033-2879},
  journal      = {PSYCHOLOGICA BELGICA},
  keywords     = {CROSS-CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT,INTERNATIONAL ADJUSTMENT,PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL,REACTIONS,STRESS,MODEL,ASSIGNMENTS,DIMENSIONS,ANXIETY,FAMILY,ABROAD,expatriates,cross-cultural adjustment,social support,socio-emotional,support,instrumental support,help-seeking sample},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {297--317},
  publisher    = {Ubiquity Press Ltd},
  title        = {Social support, adjustment, and psychological distress of help-seeking expatriates},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pb.464},
  volume       = {58},
  year         = {2018},
}

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