An exploratory study of adjustment of adult third-culture kids vs. adult mono-culture kids
Purpose – As it has been suggested that adult third-culture kids may be more culturally adaptable than others, they have been labelled “the ideal” expatriates. In this article, we explore the adjustment of self-initiated expatriate academics in Hong Kong, comparing adult third-culture kids with adult mono-culture kids. Design/methodology/approach – We use survey results from 267 self-initiated expatriate academics in Hong Kong. Findings – Exploratory results show that adult third-culture kids had a higher extent of general adjustment. No significant results were found in relation to interaction adjustment and job adjustment. We also found that recent expatriate experiences generally had a positive association with the adjustment of adult mono-culture kids, but this association only existed in terms of general adjustment for adult third-culture kids. Originality/value – Once corroborated by further studies, this exploratory research project may contribute to the understanding of the adjustment of adult third-culture kids as well as the role of experience and multicultural abilities. Few, if any, prior studies, have examined adjustment of this group of self-initiated expatriates.
Cross Cultural Management, 2014, Vol 21, Issue 4, p. 422-436
Adult third-culture kids; Adult mono-culture kids; Self-initiated expatriates; Adjustment; Hong Kong; Social Cognition Theory; Expatriate academics; Experience