Migration Background and Social Well-Being: The Role of Trust in Others
Annelene Wengler, Robert Koch Institute
Anne-Kristin Kuhnt, Universität Duisburg-Essen
We argue that social well-being differs between migrants and autochthonous population since the migration process is associated with stress in different life domains and the reduction of social contacts. We focus on subjective measures of social-wellbeing because the individual need for social contacts and interaction with others differ between single persons. These measures are: assessment of closeness, social support, feeling the need of contact to other people, sense of belonging, and trust in others.
Through factor analysis we identify three relevant concepts of social well-being: closeness & support, sense of belonging, and trust in others. Observing first and second generation migrants shows that in all three concepts the social well-being of Turkish migrants is below the level of social well-being of the autochthonous population, even if controlling for age, sex, education, unemployment, partner status, number of children, religion, and health status in the regression models. Differences are highest between the first generation and the autochthonous population, while the second generation is in between. An exception to this is the trust in others. It is lowest for the second generation and highest for the autochthonous group. Further analyses show differences by gender and age. Concluding, findings suggest inequalities in social well-being between Turkish migrants and the autochthonous population, even though convergence between second generation and the autochthonous population hints towards processes of adaptation.