Problems Faced by Expatriates to Their Growing Children

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A Research Paper Presented to Professor Felida B. Tucker-Rustia Of the College of Arts and Sciences New Era University Quezon City

In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Subject, SOCIOLOGY 1

Ma. Jermaine Joy M. Toledo And Bhelle Ashley Bonrostro September, 2009


As people decide to live and work abroad, it may seems that they make decisions for themselves. In reality, most expatriates make decisions with their familys welfare in mind. It is really true for expats who bring their children with them as they move from one place to another. They will not be the only ones who have to adapt to a foreign country and to a new culture, but also their kids and spouses will have to do the same even expats who do not have children will still have to consider how their future kids would adapt. Children of expatriates find themselves in an environment where their peers consider them strange because of their ethnicity. Children who have already friendships back home may find making new friends difficult that may cause of experiencing difficulties such like they would encounter difficulties in with a new educational system. A lot of expatriate kids do poorly in their first year of school in a new country. The environment is also a problem by adapting the cooler or hotter weather which is also hard to kids. It is important to remember that adults and children adapt to their environment differently. Adults may adapt cultural and ethnic easier than kids do. Since adults are more mature, they can easily understand the origin of cultural and ethnic differences that kids may find it harder to do so. Parents sometimes forget that kids are not miniadults, theyre kids.

They have different emotional responses and needs. Thats why it is very important for an expat parents to pay close attention to how their kids are adapting. Lines of communication between a parent and a child should be always open.

Statement of the Problem This study will determine the problems faced by expatriate parents to their growing children at a certain place where they newly reside. Thus, it will seek to answer the ff: 1. What are the problems faced by expatriate parents to their growing children as they reside to a new country? 2. What ways should be done by these parents to help their children in adjusting to a new environment? 3. What are its effects to the behavior of their children? Scope and Delimitation This study will be limited on the expatriate parents which has problems regarding the adjustments of their growing children in a new place where they decide to live. This study is mainly focused to the expat children about the challenges in facing a new cultural environment. This expat children are also the respondents of the study y which they centralize their experience.

Theoretical Framework The theories which will guide the researchers in forming this research are: Classical models of culture shock-W curve. This theoretical framework is illustrated in figure 1. This study is primarily anchored on the theory of Ellen van Bochaute which will very useful in understanding the expats children adjustment.

Conceptual Framework Including the theories in this study, the researchers came up with a Conceptual Framework illustrated in the diagram as shown in Figure 2. The diagram illustrates the variables showing the problems unto adjustments of expat children by having a new cultural environment.

It further shows the cultural and behavioral aspects that expat children may encounter. Under the cultural are the problems which they can faced while the other aspect may show the effects of their living in a new place through implications by which children mostly show their behavioral changes.

Problems Faced by Expatriates to their Children

Cultural ProblemsAdapting to the local culture Learning the local language Finding new friends New educational system

Behavioral Changes that Leads to ProblemsDifficultiesFear Anger Disappointment

Figure 2 Conceptual Framework of Schematic Diagram Showing the Difficulties and Changes of the Expat Children.


1. There are common problems faced by expatriates to their children. 2. There are ways to help their children in adjusting for a living.

Hypothesis 1. There is a significant explanation in accordance of this study by which culture shock and the problems of expatriates to their children are related due to the environmental and sociological aspects.

Definition of Terms The following terms were defined conceptually and operationally for a clear understanding of their use in this study.

Culture shock - the anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, The act or an instance of exhausting.

Ethnicity [(eth-nis-uh-tee)] Identity with or membership in a particular racial, national, or cultural group and observance of that group's customs, beliefs, and language.

Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one's ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one's

own. The ethnocentric individual will judge other groups relative to their own particular ethnic group or culture, especially with concern to language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and sub-divisions serve to define each ethnicity's unique cultural identity.

Exhaustion- the state operate within a different and unknown cultural or social environment, such as a foreign country.

Expatriates (k-sp'tr-t') (in abbreviated from, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the persons upbringing or legal residence.

Immobilization - the act of limiting movement or making incapable of movement; "the storm caused complete immobilization of the rescue team".


This chapter is a review of some related literature and studies which will help the researcher in conceptualization of this particular study. Related Literature John Schroder (2003) cited when most people think about the term "immigrant", the thought of someone leaving their home country because of poverty or limited work opportunities, government persecution, and the general desire to live a better life all comes to mind. While this image certainly applies to a number of people seeking

something better by immigrating to Europe or the United States, the same can be said for the large number of middle-class citizens leaving those very same high-tax countries that the world's poor are trying to get into. The only difference is, many of these modern day immigrants are called "expatriates", and are leaving to save themselves from becoming poorer. . For Americans especially, unless you are a native Indian, your ancestral roots can be traced someplace else. That is to say, someone in your family tree left their home country to seek a better life or opportunity in the United States. They could have left for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was the great potato famine in Ireland. Perhaps it was war in Europe or elsewhere. Perhaps it was to live in a country where you did not need permission from the government to change apartments, travel or go where you please. Whatever the reason, someone in your family left their home country to live "Free", or live better economically speaking. Believe it or not, Americans, Australians, Canadians and Europeans are becoming "Expatriates" for the same basic reason.

. The literal definition of the term "expatriate" or "expat", could mean someone that is giving up their residence or citizenship. Often, because people are doing so for tax benefits, the term "tax exile" is used in conjunction with this terminology. In truth, we can really say that the term "expatriate" is synonymous with "immigrant", although we are talking about a new form of immigration. Some people will say that leaving one's country is unpatriotic. In reality, it is no less so than what your grand-parents or great grand-parents had done before you. They moved on to someplace that made sense. Someplace with less government interference, someplace where they could find better financial or economic opportunities.

Related Studies Most expatriate parents, often with the best of intentions, have the wrong approach when it comes to communicating to their children about moving abroad and the impact their new lifestyle will have on them. Although children are the most important people in a parents life, they are hardly ever involved in the initial decisionmaking process of moving. We all assume that children do not suffer very much from a transition, that they learn a new language quickly, that they make friends easily and that they often embrace their new surroundings far faster than their parents. Moreover, it is easy to conclude that they will not be confronted with the adult distress of culture shock and the long, slow process of acculturation. Children are more flexible, we tend to think.

Talking about culture shock is talking about coping with a great amount of changes. Expatriates; adults, children, families, singles and couples, need to adapt to a lot of changes in a short period of time. The way each of them copes with it is different. The biggest difference between adults and children, or often also between the expatriate and the partner, is the fact that one chose it and the other didnt. As an adult, who has chosen expatriation, you enter the model in the adventure stage, which is marked by excited anticipation. The little misfortunes you already encountered are still reasonably acceptable because of the excitement about the expatriation and the numerous positive first impressions. It gives you the hope and so