Despite the increasing number of international students in U.S. universities, the course of adjustment of international students has not been adequately tested and only one study to date has examined multiple trajectories of international students' adjustment. Therefore, the first goal of the current study was to explore multiple trajectories of international student adjustment, using four types of adjustment outcomes (i.e., psychological distress, positive psychological adjustment, acculturative stress, and functional adjustment). The second goal was to identify important predictors of trajectories. A wide range of predictor variables were examined including individual, interpersonal, and contextual factors. Undergraduate and graduate international students who started their first semester at a large Midwestern university participated in this five-wave longitudinal study (N = 211) that spanned a period of six months. Multiple trajectories emerged and the trajectories varied across four adjustment outcomes. Contrary to the popular notion, the U-shape adjustment trajectory only emerged for one of four outcomes (psychological distress). Significant predictors of adjustment trajectories included perceived present control over reactions to academic stress, neuroticism, openness, social connectedness with Americans, and self-rated English proficiency. Limitations, implications for practice, and future directions are discussed
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2013. Major: Psychology. Advisors: Patricia A. Frazier, PhD., Moin Syed, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 87 pages, appendices A-B.
Longitudinal adjustment trajectories of international students and their predictors.
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