Online social networks, stress and expatriate adjustment

Student Researchers: Emma Bell
Supervisor: Dr Graeme Ditchburn
Ethics approval: 2013/054

This exploratory study considers the relationships between online social support networks, social support, stress, homesickness and cross-cultural adjustment within an expatriate community. Expatriates who showed higher cross-cultural adjustment were less homesick and less stressed than their counterparts. Additionally, expatriates who used online social support networks more often showed better cross-cultural adjustment and lower levels of stress and homesickness. Social support was found to be provided by these online social support networks. These findings have practical implications for multi-national corporations as well as for the individual expatriate in how they go about dealing with the transition that comes with moving to a new culture for an international assignment.