Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Lost and found: Reinvention of the self following migration

Ward, C. and Styles, I. (2003) Lost and found: Reinvention of the self following migration. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 5 (3). pp. 349-367.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Migration can impact on a person's identity and this assault can require reworking or establishing aspects of the self. The study involved a cross sectional design, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to establish the impact of migration on women from the United Kingdom (UK) and Eire (N = 154) now living in Australia. A major aim was to determine whether the impact of multiple loss (loss of home, major attachment figure, family, community, culture, and social networks) can cause a grief reaction and threatened a person's identity, and, if so, what strategies might be used to buffer this impact and assist reinvention of the self. Bowlby's grieving process was used as a theoretical framework. Women who successfully reached the final stage were able to "reinvent" themselves using social strategies, whereas those less able used solitary strategies. Women, unable to reach the final stage of grieving, suffered psychological distress. The study has implications for future migrants. Migrants who use appropriate strategies to enable settlement and reinvention are also likely to achieve a sense of belonging to the new place.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Plenum Publishers
Item Control Page Item Control Page