Selective Migration from Samoa: A Longitudinal Study of Pre-migration Differences in Social and Psychological Characteristics

Joel M. Hanna, Maureen H. Fitzgerald, Alan Howard, Jo Ann Martz Hanna, Jay D. Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 1981 extensive questionnaire and interview data were collected on some 100 young Samoan adults. Five years later in 1986 we determined their whereabouts and divided the data in accordance with migration status. The answers of the 35 who had migrated in the intervening period were contrasted to those 65 who remained in Samoa. The migrants differed in several distinct areas. Migrants reported a higher degree of peer-reliance as a personal adaptive strategy. Migrants also reported larger numbers of individuals in social support networks, a higher quality of support and more community involvement. They also report less expressive display of anger. Those who did not migrate reported a slightly better view of life in Samoa and abroad, as well as better relations with their friends and neighbors. These findings support a hypothesis that migrants are pre-selected to fit into migrant communities and do not appear to be misfits who are unhappy with life in Samoa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
JournalBiodemography and Social Biology
Volume37
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics

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