In recent times, many studies have been conducted to understand those who migrate to rural areas. However, few have investigated the psychological and behavioral factors that affect people's decisions to migrate to rural areas. This study identifies the psychological and behavioral factors that have been suggested in the psychology literature and in rural studies as factors affecting people's decision to move to rural areas. The study is unique in that it categorizes the psychological states during the process of rural migration decision into three levels and identifies how psychological and behavioral factors affect people at each level. Researchers collected data from 906 respondents in Japan, including 128 people who had migrated to rural areas. The findings show that environmental and health concerns were significantly associated with initiating the procedure of the rural migration decision, while motives related to spiritual growth and employment were strongly connected with completing the procedure by actually migrating to rural areas. These findings contribute to a better understanding of a question that attracts a great deal of political attention in Japan: Why are rural areas gaining popularity especially after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011? This study represents the first time that the importance of psychological and behavioral traits, as measured by psychometrically sound scales, has been confirmed within a model explaining the decision to migrate to rural areas.
Rural Sociology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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