Skip to main content

Pursuing goals you really want: Motive congruence and well-being in Turkish immigrants


"People all over the world feel unhappy or even depressed when their explicit goals are incongruent with their implicit needs. This discrepancy plays a crucial role especially during stressful life events that are typical for immigrants. The aim of our research project is to go beyond previous studies on acculturation and well-being by assessing potential discrepancies between explicit goals and implicit motives as ""hidden stressors"" in the acculturation process of Turkish first- and second-generation immigrants. We draw upon recent findings in the areas of motivation, acculturation and identity to construct a model about immigrants’ subjective well-being. We propose that well-being is influenced by the alignment of implicit motives and explicit goals, which reflect relations between the private and public domain in acculturation. This relationship is mediated by the interaction of an individual’s acculturation orientation and identity status. Our research design consists of three studies that employ state-of-the-art methodology, including a multi-method approach, and a cross-sectional study, and a longitudinal study using cultural frame switching: We first test the general model (Study 1). Then, we experimentally investigate immigrants’ well-being in different cultural contexts (i.e., host culture/culture of origin; Study 2). Finally, we examine differences in well-being in varying cultural contexts within each person (Study 3). Our approach goes beyond self-reports and can shed light on why some acculturation strategies level may not work equally well for all individuals. Improving psychological assessment and counselling, our framework can build a basis for social intervention programs by shifting the focus to interindividual differences in immigrants so that steps, based on the individual case, can be taken to facilitate an individual’s endeavour of becoming a happy and adapted member of society."

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/human migration

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries


Warandelaan 2
5037 AB Tilburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 150 135,26
Administrative Contact
Fons Van De Vijver (Prof.)