Why go the extra mile? A longitudinal study on sojourn goals and their impact on sojourners' adaptation

Julia Zimmermann, Kristina Schubert, Martin Bruder, Birk Hagemeyer
Published Online:
05 Jan 2016
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue 6

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Although international student mobility has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in many parts of the world, the goals that student sojourners pursue when moving abroad have received little systematic attention in psychological research. Likewise, their effects on psychological outcomes such as sojourners' psychological and sociocultural adaptation abroad have not yet been examined. Hence, the purpose of the present research was twofold: First, we established the parsimonious Sojourn Goals Scale and confirmed its psychometric quality and construct validity. Second, we used a longitudinal sample of student sojourners to investigate the role of sojourn goals for sojourners' sociocultural (i.e., sojourners' social relationships) and psychological (i.e., sojourn satisfaction) adaptation abroad at 3 months into the sojourn. Regression analyses revealed substantial effects of sojourn goals on measures of sociocultural adaptation. Response surface analyses served to examine the interplay of sojourn goals and respective sojourn experiences on sojourn satisfaction. We discuss implications for both psychological and applied research and identify future research needs.

© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science