The Impact of Social Support and Coping on Acculturation and Acculturative Stress among East Asian International Students

Open Access
Author:
Ra, Young-an
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
August 25, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Jerry G Trusty, Dissertation Advisor
  • Jerry G Trusty, Committee Chair
  • Jolynn Carney, Committee Member
  • Julia A Bryan, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Social Support
  • Coping
  • Acculturation
  • Acculturative Stress
  • East Asian International Students
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to examine the mediation effects of social support and coping on the relationship between levels of acculturation and acculturative stress among East Asian international students from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. In addition, this study also aimed to investigate whether a specific source of social support (i.e., family and old friends, new friends in the U.S., universities and colleges) and a specific type of coping (i.e., task-oriented coping, emotion-oriented coping, avoidance-oriented coping) mediate the effects of acculturation on acculturative stress. The final sample included 210 East Asian international students with F-1 visas enrolled at American institutions of higher education. To explore its research questions, the study conducted hierarchical multiple regression analyses. The results showed partial mediation effects of social support and coping on the relationship between acculturation and acculturative stress of East Asian international students. Moreover, the results revealed that social support from new friends in the U.S. and universities and colleges partially mediate the levels of acculturation on acculturative stress. However, this study found no mediation effect of social support from family and old friends back in the students’ home countries. Additionally, there were partial mediation effects of task-oriented coping and avoidance-oriented coping on the relationship between acculturation and acculturative stress. Emotion-oriented coping, however, did not mediate the effects of acculturation on acculturative stress. At the close of this paper, I will also discuss the study’s implications, limitations, and strengths, and then will offer recommendations for future research.