The highly mobile lives of Third Culture Kids (TCKs), the children of families living abroad, has tended to reveal difficulties in adulthood with less exploration during childhood. A unique set of transitions many TCKs undergo, involves a home assignment, a period of time that the family relocates to their place of heritage for a limited time before returning overseas. Emphasizing the perspectives of TCKs recalling their stories of wrapping up their home assignments in the USA and returning overseas to their host cultures throughout the world, this study employed a narrative approach, involving interviews of eleven young adult TCKs. The participants revealed stories of finding difficulty fitting while in the USA and looking forward to their return overseas, as they viewed their home assignment as an interim period before returning to regular life. While valuing their relationships with peers in their international communities, relationships returning to the host cultures proved more challenging than anticipated, with TCKs having initial additional difficulty reconnecting with the shifting social scene. Although important for support, not all participants experienced their parents and siblings as available to them during home assignment and sought belonging more with peers than in family relationships. The experience of home assignment challenged inaccurate expectations and perspectives of themselves and the cultures with which they interact. Implications included a more complex perspective of transition experiences of TCKs and lessons learned about preparation, grief, and engagement during their sojourns.
|Advisor:||Sells, James N.|
|Commitee:||Savinsky, David M., Davis, Pamela S.|
|Department:||School of Psychology & Counseling|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology, School counseling, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Home Assignment, Narrative Methodology, Third Culture Kids, Transition|
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