Coping with stress among Polish immigrants
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Submission date: 2014-05-05
Acceptance date: 2014-05-07
Online publication date: 2014-05-16
Publication date: 2014-05-15
Health Psychology Report 2014;2(1):10–18
Opening the Western labour markets for Poles, a result of Poland’s accession to the European Union, led to mass economic emigration of thousands of Poles. Immigrants chose mostly the following English-speaking countries: Ireland, England and Scotland. Moving house and changing job is a challenge that needs to be dealt with.
This study involved 239 people who emigrated to England, Scotland and Ireland. It was aimed at answering the following question: Do Polish immigrants in various countries experience varied stress levels and use varied strategies to cope with stress?
The conducted study showed differences in stress levels, depending on immigrants’ target country. There were also significant differences between strategies used to handle stress. Additionally, the study indentified factors influencing stress levels. Immigrants’ high stress levels were accompanied by stress management strategies focused on stressor avoidance, blaming as well as sense of one’s ineffectuality.
European English-speaking countries presents various challenges to immigrants. Observed dissimilarities in stress levels might stem from difference in size of cultural gap between the target and home country. Seeing that, cultural factors may significantly influence stress level perceived by immigrants, thus a question for further studies arises: what are specific cultural features significant in experiencing stress among immigrants? Answering to that question will give an unprecedented insights to demands of emigration and may lay a basis for future community support programs.
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