Psychosocial Predictors of Intent to Emigrate Among Portuguese Adolescents

Authors

  • M. Carolina Silva,

    1. Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar Universidade do Porto, Portugal
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Felix Neto

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação Universidade do Porto, Portugal
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Felix Neto, Faculdade de Psicologia, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas, 106, 4000 Porto, Portugal.
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Felix Neto, Faculdade de Psicologia, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas, 106, 4000 Porto, Portugal.

Abstract

Information about the intent to emigrate was collected for a sample of 960 adolescents living in the northern region of Portugal. This question was part of a detailed questionnaire designed to assess specific issues concerning social representations of migration-namely, information, attitude, and fields of representation. Using information about the sociodemographic characteristics and the components of social representation mentioned above, our aim was to identify the independent predictors underlying the adolescent's intent to emigrate. Due to the great number of factors involved in the analysis, we conducted a preliminary selection of independent predictors within each of the aforementioned components and created a global index describing their importance. The findings indicate that, among all components of a social representation, attitude and representation of detachment and adaptation are the most important predictors of intent to emigrate. The relatively poor ability of sociodemographic variables to predict a future emigration does not mean that they are not important, but rather that they are more likely to condition attitude, the strongest predictor of a future emigration in the northern region of Portugal. The implication of these findings for handling intervening migration policies is discussed.

Ancillary