Potential predictors of diaspora tourism for Ukrainian immigrants in the USA

Svitlana Iarmolenko, Deborah Kerstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Relocation challenges for immigrants in the USA include identity disruption, culture shock and social demotion - all precipitating psychological issues leading to depression, anxiety and alcoholism. Therapy and social support are welldocumented remedies, yet leisure holds immense potential for alleviating these psychological issues as well. While scholars propose that one type of leisure, namely travel to the country of origin (i.e., diaspora tourism), may lead to positive effects, predictors of diaspora tourism engagement have been documented with varying success. One of the more overlooked groups is Ukrainians in the USA, especially first-generation recent immigrants. In this study, we draw on theories of self-construal, media use, context of exit and entry and destination image to explore factors motivating these immigrants to travel to their ethnic homeland. Findings suggest that self-construals of these immigrants challenge the results of existing research: older immigrants are less likely to travel home and a different set of destination image items matter for immigrants compared to a general tourist population. Implications for theory and practice are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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