Psychological Distress

Which factors are associated with psychological symptoms?

The belonging aspect of social support (Lee, Koeske, & Sales, 2004), acculturation and prejudice, and commitment and control of hardiness were all predictive of mental health (Atri, Sharma, & Cottrell, 2006). Furthermore, international students’ social support resources, friendship networks (monocultural, bicultural, multicultural) serve as important psychological functions, which in turn help a sojourner over numerous difficulties (Furnham, 2004).

Are there protective factors of psychological symptoms?

There were 8 categories of protective factors what were found helpful for international student adjustment and prevent psychological symptoms: Growth and/or change, social support/building relationships (Lee, Koeske, & Sales, 2004), learning to navigate host culture, enjoyable activities outside of schoolwork, previous experiences and preparation, supportive faculty and staff, persevering through hard times, and a sense of belonging (Moores & Popadiuk, 2011).

Are international students more distressed that US students?

Compared to domestic students, international students need more adjustment during their first arrival and cross-national transition (Hechanova-Alampay, Beehr, Christiansen, & Van Horn, 2002). They were also found experiencing higher stress and risks in both mental and physical health than U.S. students (Furnham, 2004; Mori, 2000; O’Reilly, Ryan, & Hickey, 2010).

How does distress level change over time?

The stress appears higher during international students’ arrival transition period. International students were more likely to be overwhelmed by negative symptoms more commonly associated with culture shock (Brown & Holloway, 2008). Those symptoms decline over time; it usually shows a significant decline between Fall to Spring semesters in the first academic year or from the Spring of the first academic year to the Fall of the second academic year (Ying, 2005).

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