Research Output

Positive changes and appreciation of life among economic immigrants in Scotland.

  Objectives: Existing qualitative studies focussed predominantly on exploring immigrants’ stress, distress and coping aimed at reducing stress. Little attention has been paid to immigrants’ psychological growth or positive life changes. In the present study the impact of post-migration experiences on well-being among economic immigrants has been explored.
Design: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 17 immigrants. Transcripts were analysed by a deductive and inductive thematic analysis.
Results: All immigrants reported positive life changes as a result of migration. Experiences related to migration helped immigrants rebuild their sense of self-worth and find ‘mental peace’ after living a demanding and burdensome life in Poland. Immigrants’ accounts also suggested that their thinking and behaviour patterns may be shaped by their cultural values and socio-economic background.
Conclusion: Overall, the study indicates that migration is not merely a stressful life event but can have a positive impact on many aspects of immigrants’ lives and may provide opportunities for personal growth

  • Type:


  • Date:

    23 March 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    306 Culture & institutions

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Bak-Klimek, A., Karatzias, T., Elliott, L., Dickson, A., & MacLean, R. (2020). Positive changes and appreciation of life among economic immigrants in Scotland. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 21,



migration; well-being; psychological growth; positive life changes

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