The authors wish to thank Darren Newtson and Jeanne Smith for their helpful comments and criticisms. They wish to especially thank Bella DePaulo, whose patience and teaching were invaluable.
Correlates of Vocational Success in Refugee Work Adaptation1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 17, pages 1444–1452, October 1990
How to Cite
Tang, J. and O'Brien, T. P. (1990), Correlates of Vocational Success in Refugee Work Adaptation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20: 1444–1452. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb01484.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Past research on Indochinese refugees has shown that status inconsistency (loss of socioeconomic status from their last job in Indochina to their most recent job in the United States) has a strong negative effect on acculturation. This study examines refugee adaptation to working in America and the effect of status inconsistency on work performance. After three years in the U.S., there was great improvement in job performance. We had predicted that greater status inconsistency would be associated with poorer vocational performance. The status inconsistency effect was found for those refugees who previously held high-prestige positions in their homeland, but only during the time before they had spent 3 years in America. Previous high-prestige refugees who had lived in the U.S. for less than three years did not stay on their jobs as long as former low-prestige refugees. After three years, however, the former high-prestige refugees outlasted the former low-prestige refugees.