Abstract Understanding Chinese international students' psychological adjustment and acculturation is important in providing effective counseling services for this population. Historically, international students have been viewed from a pathological model by focusing on the problems they experience in the adjustment process. This study was an examination of how predictive Chinese international students' virtues (values that are composed of character strengths) were of the two measures that are related to adjusting to their lives in the United States. These two measures are psychological distress and psychological well-being. A principal components analysis (PCA) with a Varimax rotation was conducted with the 24 character traits identified by Peterson and Seligman (2004) and measured by the VIA-IS-72 (VIA-IS; Peterson & Seligman, 2004, 2009; VIA Institute, 2014). Four principal components representing virtues, agency/proactivity, conscientiousness, interpersonal strengths/sociability, and vitality, were retained. The results of two stepwise regression analyses indicated that Chinese international students with more vitality experienced greater psychological well-being and less psychological distress; however, counter to expectations, students with greater agency experienced less psychological well-being and more psychological distress. Results and recommendations will be discussed in light of multicultural theory, specifically regarding the cultural conflicts among Chinese international students studying in the United States.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2015. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Sherri Turner. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 104 pages.
An Investigation of Virtues (Derived from Character Strengths) in Relation to Psychological Adjustment among Chinese International College Students.
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