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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Acculturative Stress, Perceived Social Support and Depression Among Chinese International Students

The experience of coming to the United States to pursue academic degree can be exciting for international students, who are often striving to fulfill personal, familial, and career goals. However, it is also challenging, as it may be accompanied by stress due to constant adaption to a series of continual changes. In addition to adjusting to a new physical environment, individuals must also make psychological adjustments. This presentation identifies Chinese international studentsí acculturation processes including their acculturative stress, studentsí perceived social support and symptoms of depression. It shows how studentsí acculturation experience affected their psychological well-being. Also, other contextual factors associated with this acculturation process and cultural attitudes and beliefs regarding the meaning of depression are discussed as well. Data was collected through an online survey of Chinese international students enrolled at Syracuse University. Regression analysis was used to examine the association among acculturative stress, perceived social support and depression. Results indicate that students with less acculturative stress experienced a better adjustment outcome and showed lower levels of depression. It emphasizes the importance of English language competency during their adjustment process. Moreover, perceived social support functioned as a moderator for the association between acculturative stress and depression only when students experienced a high level of acculturative stress. Practical suggestions are made for educators and professionals to help Chinese international students facilitate cultural adjustment and also to enhance the services and programs American universities offer to their international students.

Presenters: Zixi Wu (Syracuse University) --
Yue Zhang (Syracuse University) --
Topic: International Education - Panel
Location: 33 Hartwell
Time: 10:30 am (Session II)