Date of Award

December 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Institute on Family and Community Life

Committee Member

Susan P Limber

Committee Member

James McDonell

Committee Member

Bonnie Holaday

Committee Member

Arelis Moore de Peralta


This study assessed the relationship between internal migration, various types of social capital (i.e., trust, solidarity, bonding social ties, and bridging social ties) and subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction and happiness) among a sample of 468 first-generation adult internal migrants and locals aged 18-75 years in Kamza town in Albania. Social capital and subjective wellbeing are two terms frequently used in the literature to describe people’s connections and to evaluate their life in various contexts including migration. Although these concepts are featured in academic literature, research, and global policy agendas, they are under-studied and rarely examined in the context of internal migration. By bringing together the literature about social capital, subjective wellbeing, and internal migration, this study traced associations among internal migrants and locals and contributes to an understanding of their relationship in under-researched areas such as Albania. This cross-sectional quantitative study used primary data collected through face-to-face structured individual surveys to capture differences in social capital and subjective wellbeing of first-generation adult internal migrants compared to locals as well as to assess the relationships among social capital and subjective wellbeing. Utilizing multiple ordinal regression and hierarchical multiple regression analyses, findings demonstrated that internal migrants are at a disadvantageous position compared to locals in both social capital and subjective wellbeing, after controlling for relevant socio-demographic variables. Using ordinal regression analyses, findings revealed the importance of various types of social capital for subjective wellbeing of both groups, thus answering some of the previously unanswered questions from the literature. Finally, results of this study showed that except for employment status, all other controlling variables (gender, age, education level, and marital status) made statistically significant contributions to the model. Although this study is valuable to researchers and policy makers, it also reveals the need for more comprehensive research to gain a better understanding of the relationship between social capital and subjective wellbeing in the context of internal migration.



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