Psycho-social correlates of employment amongst skilled newcomers to New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
This socially relevant research focused on immigrants and refugees who have arrived in New Zealand in the last five years and investigated the affect, behaviours and cognitions associated with trying to find work that matched their qualifications. While there has been a lot of research on immigrants and refugees from various perspectives, not much has focused specifically on the psycho-social correlates of under-employment that skilled newcomers to New Zealand face, in trying to find work that matches their existing qualifications. This research investigated how a) behaviours used pre-interview, b) behaviours used at interview, c) cognitive flexibility, d) acculturation style adopted by the newcomer to New Zealand, e) acculturation 'fit' between the acculturation styles of the newcomer and the employment community predicted (i) how close the newcomer came to finding a job that matched their qualifications and subsequent (ii) employment related emotional well-being. A sample of 70 newcomers (66% migrants, 17% refugees) filled in a questionnaire on these issues. Pre-interview behaviours, "here's what I can do for you" behaviours at interviews, cognitive flexibility and adapting to New Zealand culture all significantly predict how close the newcomer will come to finding jobs that match their qualifications and this in turn predicts employment related emotional well-being. Research of this kind may be used eventually to inform immigration policy and, more importantly, to assist immigrants with finding employment that matches their qualifications.