Research on Expatriates and their Families


Increased globalization has made work-related relocations and mobility more common in the recent years. Very often, relocating families are confronted with new challenges such as struggling with a sense of belonging, adapting to the new environment, and making new friends. Living abroad also allows relocating families to experience acculturation, a dual process of cultural and psychological change that takes place as a result of contact between two or more cultural groups. By living in different cultures, relocating families have the opportunities to develop skills to manage and adapt to changes, to be more open and accepting to different cultures and experiences. The ability to successfully adjust to this new environment can enrich their lives, while failure to manage these challenges can result in psychological well-being consequences such as increased psychosocial distress, depression, and lower marriage satisfaction. Even though work-related relocations and mobility is increasing and important, there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding what happens to expatriate families while living abroad – why some families adjust better than others or what helps to promote better adjustment.

Our vision is to translate scientific psychological and social-cultural knowledge into tailored evidence-based practice. We therefore conduct scientific research to better understand the needs and challenges of relocating families. Based on findings from our studies, we offer tailored evidence-based interventions to promote positive well-being and adjustment of expatriate families living abroad. With your participation in our research, we can better understand the challenges and needs expatriate families face and be able to promote better well-being and adjustment while living abroad. Our current and running studies are listed below. For further information, please contact our study team by email:

Current Research

Published Findings

  • Jones, E.M., Reed, M., Gaab, J. & Ooi, Y.P. (2022) Adjustment in third culture kids: A systematic review of literature. Front. Psychol. 13:939044.
  • Reed, M., Jones, E., Gaab, J., & Ooi, Y.P., (2023). Exploring resilience as a mediator and moderator in the relationship between cultural intelligence and sociocultural adjustment: A study of expatriates in Switzerland,  International Journal of Intercultural Relations,