Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

Major

Psychology

First Advisor

Meifen Wei

Abstract

During the acculturative process, Chinese international students may encounter numerous stress in linguistic, academic, financial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal areas. Recent literature has begun to extend the negative psychopathological outcomes of acculturative stress to also include positive outcomes and their protective mediating or moderating factors. In line with Berry’s (2006) theoretical framework of acculturation and Heppner et al.’s (2014) Cultural and Contextual Model of Coping, the present study examined a moderated mediation model. More specifically, collectivistic coping strategies (i.e., acceptance, reframing, and striving; Chinese relational coping) were hypothesized to moderate the indirect path (via meaning-in-life) and direct path from acculturative stress to subjective well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, positive affect, and the absence of negative affect). Particularly, the indirect effect was hypothesized to be mainly due to the moderation on the path from acculturative stress to meaning-in-life.

A total of 419 Chinese international students attending predominately White, Midwestern universities completed an online survey. Data was analyzed via Hayes’s (2013) PROCESS as a means of conducting conditional process modeling. Results indicated that acceptance, reframing, and striving significantly moderated the negative indirect path between acculturative stress and subjective well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, positive affect, and the absence of negative affect) via meaning-in-life. Moreover, the indirect effect was weaker for those with higher than for those with lower levels of using the coping strategy of acceptance, reframing, and striving. As hypothesized, this moderated mediation was mainly due to the moderation on the path between acculturative stress and meaning-in-life. Conversely, results indicated a nonsignificant direct effect of acceptance, reframing, and striving on the path between acculturative stress and subjective well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, positive affect, and the absence of negative affect).

Furthermore, Chinese relational coping significantly moderated the direct path between acculturative stress and negative affect. In particular, post-hoc analyses indicate that this path was more salient in relation to the use of understanding oneself in context (i.e., understanding or being aware of one’s own emotions, thoughts, limitations, or how the situation impacts him or her) as a coping strategy. The direct effect was especially stronger for those with higher versus those with lower levels of use of the understanding oneself in context coping strategy. However, results indicated that understanding oneself in context did not significantly moderate the indirect path between acculturative stress and subjective well-being via meaning-in-life. Limitations, future research directions, and counseling implications will be discussed.

Copyright Owner

Fei Yi

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

128 pages

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