The Association Between Acculturation Variables and Life Satisfaction Among Israeli Immigrants from Four English-Speaking Countries

Abstract

This study’s primary purpose was to examine the hypothesis that there would be a positive association between acculturation and life satisfaction for English-speaking diaspora immigrants to Israel regardless of country of origin (after adjusting for demographic characteristics including gender, age, years in the host country, reason for immigration and family support). Informed by Bornstein’s Specificity Principle in Acculturation Science, acculturation was defined by levels of: language acquisition, having realised/met expectations, and self-identification with host country. Using a cross-sectional study design, a convenience sample of English-speaking participants was recruited through a link on a well-known English-language internet site targeting immigrants to Israel. Due to the diversity of respondents, only questionnaires completed by immigrants from the following four countries were included (n = 641): Canada (n = 40), South Africa (n = 66), the United Kingdom (n = 132) and the United States (n = 403). Life satisfaction only was linked to the acculturation variable of having a higher level of realised expectations for life after immigration and reporting good health, but not associated with the other acculturation variables of language acquisition or self-identification with host country. While having realised expectations was related to life satisfaction, the number of years in the host country and language acquisition was not. Having realistic expectations (related to greater life satisfaction) may be increased by providing prospective immigrants information on the new country’s culture while they are still in the host country and planning their immigration.

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Zlotnick, C., Dryjanska, L. & Suckerman, S. The Association Between Acculturation Variables and Life Satisfaction Among Israeli Immigrants from Four English-Speaking Countries. J Happiness Stud 21, 1427–1444 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00137-3

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Keywords

  • Immigrants
  • Life satisfaction
  • Expectations
  • Acculturation
  • Diaspora