Problem Statement:Globalization and technological developments have complicated modern life, while social mobility has increased along with interactions between diverse age and cultural groups. More and more people involved in this interaction and social mobility whether in short or long terms. However, adapting to new lifestyles while becoming more diversely interactive and socially mobile can be problematic for people who miss their past lives, previous circumstances, homes, and friends. This feeling of unrequited longing to return home can be termed homesickness, especially when applied to university students, many of whom for the first time live away from home. Students suffering from homesickness may need psychological help, support, and guidance to alleviate, if not prevent, homesick feelings while pursuing academic achievement and beginning their nascent careers. Despite the substantial amount of students suffering from homesickness, as of yet there has been no tool to measure severity of homesickness in university students, which signals a gap in the literature.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the Utrecht Homesickness Scale (UHS) with a Turkish sample.
Methods: A total of 1130 freshmen university students (59% female, 41% male) studying different majors at a college campus located in the western part of Turkey participated in this study. Their ages ranged from 16 to 27.
Findings and Results:Analysis results provide enough psychometric support to suggest that the UHS could be used with five dimensions and 18 items in order to understand the homesickness level of freshmen in Turkey. Findings from exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis suggest that the five-factor model was replicated within this sample, which supports the scale’s construct validity that is identical to the scale’s original form. Thus, results similarly verify that the UHS has both a high internal consistency value and test-retest reliability. Above all, results also show that the total scale score of the UHS correlated significantly with measures of loneliness, social support, social connectedness, and general satisfaction with life.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The results suggest that the UHS and its subscales are reliable and valid scales to use for research evaluating the homesickness of freshmen university students in Turkey.
Keywords: Homesickness, reliability, validity, freshmen students, Utrecht homesickness scale