Coping with homesickness: The construction of the adult homesickness coping questionnaire

Department of Psychology, Tilburg University P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE, Tilburg, The Netherlands
Personality and Individual Differences (Impact Factor: 1.86). 06/1997; 22(6):901-907. DOI: 10.1016/S0191-8869(97)00010-X

ABSTRACT This study examined coping with homesickness in a sample of homesick adult women. For this purpose, the Adult Homesickness Coping Questionnaire (AHCQ) was constructed. Analysis of the structure of the AHCQ revealed four factors: Social Support, Positive Thinking/Distraction, Turning to Religion, and Mental Escape. The psychometric properties of the AHCQ appeared adequate. Results indicated that ways of coping with homesickness are related to diverse aspects of the homesickness experience, like length of stay in the homesickness situation, causal attributions, and intensity levels of homesickness feelings. It is emphasized that future prospective studies should focus specifically on the (in)effectiveness of coping strategies in order to design adequate interventions for homesick individuals.

Download full-text


Available from: Miranda A L Van Tilburg, Sep 26, 2015
303 Reads
    • "However, this expectation (that making friends is important to homesickness ) may not be correct. Van Tilburg et al. (1997a) found the majority (52%) of homesickness sufferers who were surveyed while experiencing homesickness (in contrast with retrospective studies) did not attribute their homesickness to insufficient friends in the new location. The majority attributed it to missing persons (82.7%), missing the environment (81.4%), and missing the atmosphere of the old environment (87.7%). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Belongingness theory proposes that humans possess an innate drive for a minimum number of lasting interpersonal relationships. On geographic relocation, people leave their existing social networks. This greatly threatens belongingness needs, and the authors propose this is one cause of homesickness. Two studies investigated whether homesickness arises in the need to belong. Study 1 used a correlational design to test the relationship between need to belong and homesickness while controlling for other variables. A significant positive relationship was found. Study 2 then used an experimental design to test for a causal effect of need to belong on homesickness, and a significant effect was found. An additional finding showed that individuals who felt accepted in the community were less homesick. This was independent of number of friends and demonstrates an important link between community attitudes and adjustment. Implications for belongingness theory are discussed.
    Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 03/2009; 35(4):516-30. DOI:10.1177/0146167208329695 · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whilst the majority of new students cope well with the transition to university, a number experience levels of homesickness which can adversely affect the process of adaptation. In this study the relationship between homesickness and self-disclosure, seen as a possible mediating factor, was assessed in a sample of 83 students (mean age 18.0541 years,s.d.=7.055 months) at the start of their first semester and then 6 weeks later. The results showed that homesickness declined during the semester whilst levels of self-disclosure increased. A significant negative association was found between levels of self-disclosure and homesickness at both time periods. High self-disclosers experienced a significantly greater reduction in homesickness than low self-disclosers. The results showed the importance of the socially-mediated and supportive benefits of self-disclosure during this life transition.
    Journal of Adolescence 12/1998; 21(6):745-748. DOI:10.1006/jado.1998.0193 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is not clear yet whether or not homesickness is a singular syndrome. Some authors have proposed different subtypes or forms of homesickness. Since there may be great differences between various subtypes of homesickness regarding etiology, causes, manifestations and consequences, a distinction of subtypes may have far-reaching implications for research and therapy. This exploratory study was conducted to find out whether homesickness can be considered a homogeneous syndrome, or whether there are distinct subtypes that differ in etiology, severity of the condition and manifestations. Thirty-one individuals, who have had severe homesickness experiences, were interviewed, and verbal scripts were typed out. Twenty-four interviews were suited for analyses. All text related to the topics most relevant to the purpose of the study was extracted. The text was first analyzed searching for meaning and categories and afterwards coded and used in a HOMALS analysis. The HOMALS analysis yielded two dimensions. The first dimension can be described as a dimension of psychopathology differentiating 'recovered' and recurrent homesickness. The second dimension was strongly dominated by homesickness during holidays. It seems that there are reasons to presume the existence of at least two subtypes of homesickness: (1) recurrent homesickness related to signs of psychopathology and recurrent homesickness experiences and (2) recovered homesickness, which can be considered as a normal adjustment problem which most people overcome. Very tentatively, a third type of homesickness might be distinguished: holiday homesickness, which is associated with difficulties in breaking with old routines. Consequences for research and therapy are discussed. Furthermore, the need of validation studies is underlined.
    Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 02/1999; 68(6):313-8. DOI:10.1159/000012349 · 9.20 Impact Factor
Show more