Thoughts, Engagements, and Updates

20 Sep 2018

New Publications on African Diasporas’ Sense of Place Attitudes in Europe and Australia

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I recently published a series of papers in the Journal of Community Psychology. Although the papers focus on the sense of place attitudes of African diasporas, they have a different scope in relation to the migration-related and socio-demographic determinants of sense of community/belonging (for the European sample) and the quality of life outcomes of place attitudes (for the Australian sample). I have summarised the abstracts for both papers below and provided links to download the papers.

Paper 1: Migration and sociodemographic factors associated with the sense of place attitudes of African migrants in northern and western Netherlands 

This article investigates migration and sociodemographic factors associated with attitudes toward specific geographic settings (place attachment [PA], place identity, place dependence [PD]) in a crosssectional data (N = 175) of sub-Saharan African residents in the Northern Netherlands and the Western Netherlands. Overall, it was found that scores of PA and PD were stronger in long-term African residents (more than 5 years) than among short-term residents (less than 5 years). The region of residence was positively related to PD, with participants in western Netherlands having stronger PD compared to those in the northern region. Language proficiency was inversely associated with PD among participants with a little knowledge of Dutch compared to those who could speak Dutch fluently. Older African residents (aged 46–55 years) were more likely to develop PA and PD than their younger counterparts (aged 18–25 years). PA scores were significantly lower for participants with a tertiary education background compared to those with a high school education or less educational attainment. PD scores were lower in females than males, and participants from Western Africa had stronger levels of PD compared to those from Central Africa. Implications of these findings are discussed. (DOWNLOAD PDF)

Paper 2: Sense of Place Attitudes and Quality of Life Outcomes among African Residents in a Multicultural Australian Society.

The study examines the association between sense of place (SOP) attitudes (e.g., place attachment, place identity, and place dependence) and health-related quality of life (HQOL) in a sample of 261 African residents in New South Wales (Australia). Participants completed measures of the Sense of Place Scale, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF questionnaire, and demographic variables. Study findings are as follows: (a) levels of SOP and place attachment are positively associated with all outcomes of HQOL; (b) place identity is also positively related to HQOL in terms of better environmental health, psychological health, and physical health, but not statistically significant for social relationship and general QOL; (c) place dependence is statistically associated with outcomes of HQOL, except for general QOL which remained insignificant in both the unadjusted and adjusted models. Further ad hoc analyses suggest that African residents from Eastern Africa are more likely to develop the “aussie” place identity than those from Central Africa; and (e) African migrants who have been residents of Australia for more than 5 years, and those who are less educated are more likely to have a stronger SOP and to develop place attachment and behavioral place commitments compared with newly arrived and educated migrants, respectively. Study limitations and implications are carefully discussed. (DOWNLOAD PDF)

Psychologists working with African migrants need a more sophisticated understanding of their place attitudes and adaptability to place change in relation to their socio-economic background, mental health, and quality of life in general. I hope that these publications help readers to gain insights into the complexity of place attitudes within African diaspora communities around the globe.

— Victor Counted

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