Determinants of intercultural adjustment among expatriate spouses

Anees Ali, K.I. Van der Zee, Geert Sanders

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The adaptation of expatriate families to a host country seems crucial to successful fulfilment of international business assignments. The present study focused on personality, family characteristics and characteristics of expatriates' work life as determinants of the intercultural adjustment of expatriate spouses. Among a sample of 247 expatriate spouses it was first shown that in particular the traits of open-mindedness and emotional stability were associated with expatriate spouses' adjustment. In addition, family cohesion and family adaptability were found to have an impact on the spouses' adjustment. Of the work related variables, both support from the company and work satisfaction were related to indicators of adjustment. These effects sustained after controlling for the influence of demographic variables such as duration of expatriation, command of the local language, having visited the country prior to relocation and economic situation that were also found to contribute to spouses' adjustment. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-580
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


  • Expatriate spouses
  • Expatriate work situation
  • Family factors
  • Intercultural adjustment
  • Personality


Dive into the research topics of 'Determinants of intercultural adjustment among expatriate spouses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this